Laura McCargar

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Laura McCargar

"When you pick up a video camera you redefine how people see the world. When you turn that video camera on yourself you redefine how the world sees you. When Laura McCargar co-founded Youth Rights Media, after graduating from Yale in 2002, she sought to support youth power and leadership in a society that often treats young people as threats that need to be controlled and confined. Under Laura’s leadership, Youth Rights Media has empowered young people to use their own media productions to reclaim their identities, present their realities, and challenge a juvenile justice system that treats their lives as disposable.

"A Connecticut based NGO, Youth Rights Media believes that youth who have been marginalized, stigmatized and disregarded by the justice system and the public at large have the potential to become committed, focused and passionate leaders. In order to create transformative leadership opportunities YRM engages youth in video media production and community organizing so that young people are equipped with tools, skills, and strategies for affecting change within themselves, their communities, and Connecticut’s deeply troubled juvenile justice system.

"Laura’s commitment to YRM and its important work grew out of her experience as a student in Oakland’s public school system, where more than half of the entering freshmen class never made it to graduation. Frustrated by an educational system structured and designed to push vulnerable youth out of schools, onto streets and into the criminal justice system, Laura works to develop the leadership qualities of hundreds of New Haven teens who have, in turn, brought about sweeping reforms in Connecticut’s criminal justice system." [1]

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  1. Iryna Toustsik, , accessed January 21, 2008.