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David Washington

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David graduated summa cum laude from the University of Florida in 2009. There, when he wasn’t in the library studying or at work washing dishes, David was competing in marathons and directing a free after-school program at Gainesville’s Dignity Project.

Upon graduation David joined the Peace Corps as a youth development volunteer in San Juancito, Honduras. He trained teachers, assisted in vaccine drives, and taught health, gender awareness, and professional development courses to Honduran youth. David helped procure musical instrument donations for the San Juancito Foundation, and he taught trumpet classes to children in town. He also worked with local community leaders to plan and fundraise for municipal projects.

David’s work in Honduras was done in the shadow of a coup d’etat and rapidly escalating violence in what is now the world’s most violent country. David’s experiences with youth and violence in the U.S. and in Honduras influenced his decision to work with the Seneca Family of Agencies in the San Francisco Bay Area upon returning to the United States. As a Family Support Counselor, he worked with children diverted from the juvenile justice system and their families, focusing on their strengths in order to create stable environments where the children could thrive without state intervention.

David has served on the boards of two of Penn Law’s student-run pro bono projects: the Prisoners’ Legal Education and Advocacy Project and the Penn Law Immigrant Rights Project. He is a founder and current President of a student group: Penn Law Defenders of the Accused, Detained, and Incarcerated; and he was elected to be an Executive Editor of the Journal of Law and Social Change.

During his first summer, David worked at the American Civil Liberties Union in Los Angeles, where he assisted in litigation and community organizing surrounding issues of police brutality, immigrant detention, and mental health courts. During his second summer, he worked at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, where he assisted in indigent defense in felony cases. David’s career goals include indigent defense, civil rights advocacy, and incarceration and detention reform.