Rubén Austria Community Connections for Youth
Rev. Rubén Austria is the founding Executive Director of Community Connections for Youth. As a 2007 Soros Justice Fellow with the W. Haywood Burns Institute, Rev. Austria advocated for the redirection of funds from incarceration to community-based alternatives for youth. Seeing the need to equip more grassroots faith and community-based organizations to develop effective alternative-to-incarceration programs, he launched Community Connections for Youth in the fall of 2008. Rev. Austria is a respected advocate for juvenile justice reform and is recognized locally and nationally as an expert on community-based alternatives to incarceration. He serves on the national advisory board of the Community Justice Network for Youth, the Steering Committee of the Juvenile Justice Coalition of New York, and is a founding member of the NYC Task Force on Racial Disparity in the Juvenile Justice System. In 2004, he was selected as a Research Fellow by the Robert Bowne Foundation to conduct qualitative research on the youth development and juvenile justice and his article, “Towards a Movement: Uniting Direct Service Providers and Community Organizers for Juvenile Justice Reform”, was published in the Spring 2006 edition of the peer-reviewed journal Afterschool Matters. Rev. Austria earned both his B.S. in Psychology in 1996, and his M.A. in Southeast Asian Studies in 2002, from Cornell University. He completed the Institute for Non-Profit Management at Columbia University Business School’s Executive Education program in 1999.