2011 – Todd L. Belcore
Todd Belcore had a lot of options as he started his legal career. After graduating from the University of Michigan, he worked at Kirkland & Ellis as a Litigation Department Project Assistant. He then went to Northwestern Law School where he was President of the Student Bar Association his third year and graduated on the Dean’s List in 2010.
But Todd’s passion is serving others. Looking more closely at Todd’s work and accomplishments, you see this commitment running throughout his life. His public service contributions while in law school alone are awe-inspiring and a sample of them underscores Todd’s dedication to helping others. He served as president of Northwestern’s student group dedicated to volunteering, SERV. Under Todd’s leadership, SERV sponsored three times as many programs and involved four times as many students as in past years. He also volunteered with the Night Ministry to assist homeless youth, externed at the Legal Assistance Foundation and participated in the Lawyers in the Classroom Program to help elementary students learn more about the legal system.
Todd’s mother inspired him to use the opportunities afforded to him to serve others. As a single mother without much family support, she worked multiple jobs to put herself through college and seminary and to provide food and shelter for her children. As Todd grew up, he helped care for his older brother who was a paraplegic from the age of 15 months. In his Anderson Fellowship application, Todd wrote, “Due to these financial struggles and seeing how difficult life was for my brother, I acquired firsthand knowledge of how institutions are erected without taking entire populations into account. Those experiences gave me a deep understanding of the struggles and injustices that confront the poor and the handicapped every day.”
Todd currently is putting his commitment to public interest into practice every day in his “dream job” as the Community Justice Lead Attorney at the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law. Todd’s work involves helping people with criminal records gain a second chance by overcoming employment barriers.