Video | CCTV Channel 17 | November 19, 2014

Jay Diaz, a staff attorney at Vermont Legal Aid, recently appeared on CCTV Channel 17 with host Tom Garrett. Tom is executive director of Legal Services Law Line of Vermont and regularly hosts a program to explain legal issues that are important to Vermonters.

In this video, Jay discusses how he has worked over the last two years to use the law to help break the generational cycle of poverty - the circumstances that lead children who grow up in poverty to be much more likely to live in poverty as adults.

Jay talks about how important it is for youth to graduate from high school. He relates how children and youth are negatively affected when they miss even one day of school because they are expelled or suspended. He says that homeless children in Vermont, who constantly miss school or change schools, lag behind other students' progress by four to six months.

Jay gives examples of how he has used the law to help children and youth who are living in poverty to stay in school.

Before becoming a staff lawyer, Jay worked at Vermont Legal Aid as the Vermont Poverty Law Fellow, a two-year position that is funded by the Vermont Bar Foundation.