Leyda Garcia-Greenawalt joined the team in January of 2022 as NACC’s inaugural National Law School Student Organizer. Currently, Leyda is a Civitas Child Law Fellow and first-year student at Loyola University Chicago School of Law. Her first law school internship was at the Cook County Office of the Public Guardian where she observed child protection and juvenile justice hearings and conducted research on the Indian Child Welfare Act and its implementation across the United States.
In March of 2021, Ms. Garcia-Greenawalt was published in the Columbia Journal of Race and Law: Guilty: How Immigrating to the United States Became a Life Sentence to Child Welfare. The article was part of the Symposium: Strengthened Bonds: Abolishing the Child Welfare System and Re-Envisioning Child Well-Being, where Leyda was a speaker and responder to the opening panel.
Previously, Leyda served as President of the Foster Care Alumni of America – Illinois Chapter. In that time, she assisted with policy and legislative initiatives alongside other county-wide, statewide, and national organizations. She advocated for the passage of the Family First Prevention Services Act, IL HB 5122, which allows students with lived experience in child welfare to attend in-state colleges tuition-free.
Prior to law school, Leyda attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she obtained her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work. As a student she conducted and published research on the intersection of the child welfare system and intimate partner violence, as well as juvenile justice reform. Ms. Garcia-Greenawalt also served as the Undergraduate Representative for the Illinois chpater of the National Association of Social Workers.
When she is not working or studying, Leyda enjoys spending time with her family, watching movies, and cooking.