Nick Jasso is a FLY alumni, UCLA student, and currently works for FLY as a Youth Voice Policy Fellow. As a Policy Fellow he plays a key role in helping FLY define and codify our efforts to center youth voices within our systems change work. This includes reviewing systems change materials as well as collaborating with other youth in focus groups, helping them develop their voices and speaking skills in order to come up with ways to improve issues within their own communities. While growing up in San Mateo, Nick became involved in the juvenile justice system, which is how he came to FLY. For many youth similar to Nick, frequent exposure to school resource officers accomplished little to prevent further involvement and instead seemed to increase the chances of it. 

Nick states, “The role of a school resource officer is to protect the school and to increase relationships with the community. Is that happening? No.” He believes that a better use of the funding for resource officers would be towards supports such as counselors, who could more effectively work with students to guide and support them rather than punishing them for exhibiting trauma. 

This topic of how school resource officers contribute to the school to prison pipeline is the focus of Episode 9 of the PolicyWise podcast featuring Nick. PolicyWise is a weekly podcast that encourages intergenerational policy discussion. It is run by the Youth Leadership Institute in partnership with California Forward (CA FWD), a nonprofit that brings people together across communities, regions, and interests to improve government and create inclusive sustainable growth for everyone. 

This episode offers insightful perspectives in regards to police on campus, youth incarceration, as well as Nick’s own personal story about navigating the juvenile justice system. The podcast can be heard on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Breaker Audio, RadioPublic, Pocket Casts and Overcast. We encourage you to listen!