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Katherine DiVasto L’21

Kate seeks to improve marginalized youths’ access to empowering therapy to help them process trauma in their lives. Kate’s interest in youth justice began during college where she majored in psychology with a minor in government at Harvard College. Kate researched new ways to spread youths’ access to effective therapies at the Weisz Laboratory for Youth Mental Health. As an Arthur Liman Summer Pubic Interest Intern, she assisted the Greater Boston Legal Service’s Children’s Disability Project to ensure youths’ access to disability benefits to afford health treatments.

After graduation, Kate pursued advocacy in the clinical psychology research field for two years. As a lab manager for the Laboratory for Clinical and Developmental Studies at Columbia University’s Teachers College, Kate assisted various projects aimed to improve prevention of suicide and self-harm among youths. Kate co-authored an article about addressing gaps between clinical psychology researchers and practitioners to expand access to effective therapies. Kate presented her findings at a national psychological research conference, advocating researchers to address the severe lack of research on suicide risk among individuals with incarceration history.

Now at Penn Law, Kate is the legal director for the Youth Advocacy Project, a chair member for First Generation Professionals, and a member of the Criminal Record Expungement Project. Kate’s recent internship with Community Legal Services and work with mental health policy issues in Philadelphia has solidified her interest in collaborating with marginalized youths to expand their access to empowering mental health services.