Since joining Project HEAL (Health, Education, Advocacy, and Law) as staff attorney in 2014, Mallory Finn has become a fighter for children with disabilities and their families.
“I have the privilege of working with the children and their families to advocate for what they need to be successful in school and in the community after they exit their local school system and move on to secondary education or employment,” she said.
Project HEAL, based at the Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities at the Kennedy Krieger Institute, provides advocacy and legal services for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Finn has represented more than 115 children and their families in special education disputes across the state. She has also worked on more than 850 civil legal cases, consulted on 500 cases at the institute, and provided professional and community training on special education law and bullying, harassment and intimidation, and transition planning for students with disabilities. She also advocated for the children on local, state, and national levels.
“I am dedicated to the people I serve and believe in equity for all students, regardless of their socioeconomic, disability or minority status,” she said. “I strive to empower families by educating them about the special education process through representation and training.”
Finn volunteers for Thread, a Baltimore nonprofit group that helps underperforming high school students who face barriers outside the classroom by providing them with volunteers and access to more community services. She has been working with the same girl for almost two years. Finn provides daily rides to school, helps with school assignments, provides financial assistance for school events like prom, helps with job applications and has meals with the girl and her family.
“Thread has been a wonderful experience,” she said. “It has allowed me to know countless people in the city of Baltimore who I would not have met otherwise.”