About

Training

Community

Support

Press

Press

In THe News

Our Story

Learn More

Social Media

Write About ALAS

In THe News

Video/Audio

Viva Nola & ALAS (Video)

Viva Nola Magazine

by Viva Nola Magazine

Jambalaya News radio podcast

Viva Nola Magazine

by Jambalaya News

Empowered by Advocacy with Lisa Maria Rhodes

Viva Nola Magazine

by Empowerment And All That, iHeart Radio

In Print

Alas trains advocates of at-risk students

by City Business New Orleans

Social Work Smart Brief 

by National Association of Social Workers

Changing The Face and The Future Of Education

by Be Latina

La educación e innovación pasaron a primer plano en la reciente Edupreneur Pitch Competition

by La Nota Latina

Announcements

People this Week: New hires, promotions, awards

by City Business New Orleans

New Orleans Kellogg Fellows

by WKKF CLN (Kellogg)

Proclamation by the City of New Orleans

by the City of New Orleans / City Council

4.0 Schools Fellow Announcement

by 4.0 Schools

ALAS Wins $20,000

by Latinos For Education

2019 New Leaders Council Fellow

by the New Leaders Council

2019 Impact Accelerator Ventures

by Propeller

In The News

Our Story

Learn More

Social Media

Write About ALAS

Our Story

No longer ruled out: an educator develops strategies to keep court-involved students in school

The Hechinger Report

Lisa Maria Rhodes, better known by her students as Señorita Rhodes, is in her 11th year as an educator in New Orleans.

NEW ORLEANS — School absences were rare for Lorenzo Elliott, the drum major of the George Washington Carver High School band and an honor roll student with a 96 percent attendance rate.

So a social worker called his home on a December morning in 2015 when he didn’t come to school. His family said that police had picked him up. He was accused of being a getaway driver for two of his cousins, who had robbed someone in New Orleans East. Because he was 17, he was charged as an adult in Louisiana.

Even with his impressive list of accomplishments, Elliott worried that his education would be derailed. “I see a lot of black kids like me lost to the system,” Elliott said. “But my school had my back.” Specifically, Lisa María Rhodes, a social worker at Carver at the time, jumped into action. Early in her teaching career, when she worked as a Spanish language teacher, Rhodes had witnessed how jail pulled promising young people onto a hard-to-reverse path. “Students would be missing from class; I would call home and find that they’d been arrested. It kept happening,” Rhodes said. Because most of her students could not afford even modest bail, they often stayed in jail for months, even years, awaiting trial.

A few hours after Rhodes heard about Elliott’s arrest, she wrote a detailed letter to the magistrate judge, to provide context about the drum major that went far beyond the brief incident summary that the arresting officers had supplied. The following morning, she went to Orleans Parish Criminal District Court to deliver the letter in person.

As Elliott sat with his public defender, Rhodes introduced herself to his lawyer and told Elliott that she was there to advocate for him. Elliott seemed a little scared about what faced him, but he was still focused on school: He told her that he was worried about missing an exam in his Advanced Placement environmental science class.

When Students Are Stuck In Jail, A Teacher’s Letter To The Judge Can Get Them Out

NPR New Orleans Public Radio

Each year thousands of New Orleans students end up having some kind of involvement with the court system – whether immigration court, or criminal court. And that makes focusing on school tough, especially when students are held in jail or detained while they’re waiting for their court date. Social worker and educator Lisa Maria Rhodes created an organization called ALAS to help court-involved students. She sat down with WWNO’s Jess Clark to talk about how teachers can play a role in getting students released from jail.

Listen To Interview

by NPR New Orleans Public Radio | Jess Clark spoke with social worker and educator Lisa Maria Rhodes about her work helping court-involved students.

Responses have been lightly edited for clarity.

Q: You’ve been an educator and social worker in New Orleans for many years, but you started focusing your work around helping court-involved youth about four years ago. What was going on with your students at that time that made you realize this was where you wanted to focus your efforts?

Attorneys

Volunteer to represent a student 

If you are an immigration attorney you can start today, if not we will connect you with a training so you can help a student navigate immigration.

Volunteer Form

Mentors

Attend a training prior to the beginning of next semester to work directly with our youth.
Intake Form

Specialists

We are new entrepreneurs and always seeking expert help in grant writing, fundraising, operations, technology, media, design, strategy, and coaching.

In THe News

Our Story

Learn More

SOcial Media

Write About ALAS

Learn More

Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen by Jose Antonio

Buy

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander

Buy

In THe News

Our Story

Learn More

Social Media

Write About ALAS

Social Media

In THe News

Our Story

Learn More

Social Media

Write About ALAS

Write About ALAS

Want to write about ALAS?

If you would like to write an article, shoot a video, or document FREE ALAS in any way, please drop us a message! 

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start writing!

.et_pb_scroll_top.et-pb-icon {
background: #593b94;
}

Contact Us

Contact Info

New Orleans, LA
+123 456 7896

Follow On

Share This