Stacy Violante Cote, Social Worker and Lawyer, is one of UConn’s 40 under 40 Outstanding Young Alumni.
UConn Magazine, Special Edition, Volume 9, Number 3 – Fall/Winter 2008
Stacey Violante Cote, 36
40 Under 40Social Worker and Lawyer
For Stacey Violante Cote ’00 M.S.W., ’01 J.D., enrolling as a dual-degree student at UConn’s Schools of Social Work and Law provided the best of both worlds.
Cote took on numerous internships and externships — among them a position at the Center for Children’s Advocacy, a nonprofit organization affiliated with the UConn School of Law that works to protect the legal rights of low-income children.
There, Cote found her passion and has not looked back.
Stacey Violante Cote
Photo by Peter Morenus
Today, she serves as a staff attorney at the Center as well as project director of the Center’s Teen Legal Advocacy Clinic, which specializes in promoting the legal rights of teenagers in areas such as education advocacy, the legal rights of teens in DCF and improper denials of state and federal benefits.
“We go out to where the kids are,” says Cote, noting the clinic’s services reach teens in schools, group homes, community agencies, homeless shelters and beyond.
“Teens are not going to knock on our door; they may not even know they have legal rights that are being violated,” she says.
“It’s on us to go out there, find them, talk about their legal rights, advocate for them and teach them how to advocate for themselves.”