Home Official News Releases Drake’s Middleton Center receives Advocate Award from United Way

Drake’s Middleton Center receives Advocate Award from United Way

News Photo
Jerry Foxhoven and Joan Middleton examine the Advocate Award.
The Joan and Lyle Middleton Center for Children’s Rights at Drake
Law School received the Advocate Award for organizations with fewer
than 100 employees at the 2009 Live United Recognition Event Tuesday. 
Jerry Foxhoven, director of the Middleton Center and executive
director of the Drake Legal Clinic, accepted the award from United Way
of Central Iowa at the Live United luncheon at the Downtown Marriott. 
“We are especially honored to receive this award for advocacy
because it is recognition that the Middleton Center has been successful
in fulfilling two major goals,” Foxhoven said. 
“First, the dream of Joan and Lyle Middleton that the Middleton
Center be seen as a strong advocate for our most vulnerable children is
being realized every day. Second, we have been able to contribute to
Drake’s mission by advocating for children in an exceptional learning
environment that prepares our students for meaningful personal lives,
professional accomplishments and responsible global citizenship.” 
In presenting the award on behalf of United Way, Rose Mitchell of
Hy-Vee Inc., said, “Imagine being in the foster care system as a young
person, but being left out of court hearings involving your own future.
Imagine turning 18 years old and ‘aging out’ of the foster care system,
but having no Social Security card or even a copy of your birth
“To stand up to the rights for these youth, the Joan and Lyle
Middleton Center for Children’s Rights at Drake University Law School
has advocates for foster children who are determined to protect them
and improve their lives. 
“Students and faculty members directly represented over 125 youth
in juvenile court proceedings in 2008,” she added. “They spoke at over
20 conferences on child welfare issues. They were the primary
organization involved with Adoption Saturday, Family Reunification Day
and Polk County Model Court.” 

News Photo
Dolph Pullium, Joan Middleton, Jerry Foxhoven, Lauren Yates and Annie vonGillern at the awards ceremony.
Mitchell also noted that Middleton Center employees and Drake law
students successfully advocated for legislation signed into law by Iowa
Gov. Chet Culver. 
The first measure allows any youth involved in the child welfare
system to attend his or her own court hearings. As a result, these
young people are empowered to advocate for themselves in areas such as
education and health-care needs. 

The second law requires the Iowa Department of Human Services to
provide stronger protection for youth who are ‘aging out’ of the foster
care system.

The Live United Recognition Event also featured Drake Athletic
Director Sandy Hatfield Clubb, who announced the winners in the
Volunteer Category. 
Clubb inspires pride through her service in the community. She’s a member of the United Way board of
directors and a champion of Drake’s Student United Way
organization and its nationally acclaimed work.