Student-run hotline provides real-world advocacy experience

Being an eighth-grader can be hard, but repeating the grade because of poor attendance due to health issues is even harder. Helping students and families navigate Chicago Public Schools’ Code of Conduct to appeal a grade promotion is the type of hands-on work first- and second-year Loyola law students do when they join SUFEO, or Stand Up for Each Other.

Vice president of the student organization Mehgan Keeley, 2L, oversaw that case and helped the family appeal the promotion denial. Keeley learned the student missed school due to a physical ailment that had not been properly addressed. Happily, she and the family secured the needed documentation so the student could advance to ninth grade with her classmates.

“We advocated for the student and worked with her new school to create a plan for accommodations to ensure her medical needs wouldn’t continue to be a barrier to her academic progress,” Keeley said. “She’s doing well and even made the school’s basketball team.”