Matthew Saleh received the Community-Engaged Practice & Innovation Award for his work on career pathways for youth with disabilities and barriers to employment, such as justice involvement.
Since 2015, Saleh has worked as co-PI on the New York State Developmental Disabilities Planning Council Grant, Youth Reentering the Community through Opportunity, Networking, Navigation, Education, Collaboration and Transition Support. He received an Engaged Opportunity Grant for the project Pro Se: Empowering Justice-Involved Youth and Young Adults with Disabilities through Speech and Debate Training.
Saleh is co-sponsoring two Laidlaw Scholars at Cornell on a project focusing on providing virtual mentoring to youth with disabilities who are involved in the criminal-justice system or multiple systems (e.g., foster care, child services) through a free, online certificate program from Cornell.
Saleh also teaches in the Disability Studies sequence and supports multiple students as an internship supervisor and an advisor for Summer Dean’s Fellows and student thesis projects.
Pro Se: Empowering Justice-Involved Youth and Young Adults with Disabilities through Speech and Debate Training
In summer 2021, Matthew Saleh piloted Pro Se: Empowering Justice-Involved Youth and Young Adults with Disabilities through Speech and Debate Training. Now, as an Engaged Faculty Fellow, Saleh is further developing and scaling the program, which provides mentorship and education to youth and young adults who have been involved in the criminal-legal system or in foster care, child services or similar services. The program aims to offer essential two-way community-engaged learning opportunities, both for participants and for future legal professionals from Cornell who can drive juvenile justice innovation and reform from within.
“By participating in the Engaged Faculty Fellowship Program, my hope is to be able to expand my connections with other Cornell faculty, to gain insight into practices, implementation, evaluation and scaling up projects that involve Cornell students.” —Matthew Saleh