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Helping S.E.A.L. thrive: CEDC Staff Attorney David Craft aids education non-profit

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Joshua Morgan thrives on creating enriching learning environments for students, particularly for those with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and other learning disabilities. His nonprofit organization Strategies Enrichment And Learning (S.E.A.L.) offers virtual therapeutic programs for students and parents looking to supplement classroom education.

However, when he was forming the organization he needed legal backing and advice. That’s where David Craft, a staff attorney in the Community Economic Development Clinic within The Justice Center at Albany Law School came in with help filing tax paperwork, obtaining nonprofit status, defining bylaws, and more.

David Craft

“He wanted to create a nonprofit to share his knowledge with other kids. It’s been great to see his progress,” Craft said. “He’s now able to engage with schools in New York City and he’s been able to do more fundraising. What’s great about this work is that you can help someone take their ideas and visions and help them move to make their idea a reality.”

For Morgan, establishing a place like S.E.A.L. was a longtime dream. While he was a student—in his K-12 years and later while earning his Master’s degree from Columbia University—he struggled to survive school.

“Sometimes a student with special needs gets lost in the shuffle,”  said Morgan, Founder & President of S.E.A.L.. “I often felt like I was alone. A lot of other students were excited to be at Columbia. For Ivy League students, things like reading and writing are enjoyable. For me, it took a lot of determination and bad days. My Mom was also instrumental in helping me and very supportive.”

Josh Morgan

Morgan and Craft began working together in 2019. With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing a majority of students to learn from home, the need for supplemental enrichment programs like S.E.A.L. has grown…and grown a lot. While Morgan had to move programming virtual he found success. So much so that it’s going to stay that way.

“It’s the future,” Morgan said. “We can reach more students this way.”

S.E.A.L. classes range from Woodworking, Cooking, Private Tutoring Services for IEP students, and soon Robotics / Coding. Developing curriculum is a passion Morgan said and doing so helped him realize his personal potential to launch the school in the first place.

Craft said helping with the legal steps was a natural fit.

“When people talk about civil legal services, I sometimes think of problems people face like housing or employment —but what’s great about this work is that we also focus on people’s dreams and goals,” he said. “We’re helping them get on their path to fulfill something they really want to do.”
“Finding the right lawyer was also a key piece. I knew David could help us and I knew I could trust him. He was able to relate to me. Any entrepreneur would love to have a lawyer who can explain things in an understandable way. David is one of a kind,” Morgan said.