Friends of Emery Community (FOEC), a growing nonprofit organization that sponsors youth development programs, recently presented Ballard Spahr and attorney Jack N. Semrani with the Outstanding Community Award. The award recognizes the pro bono services Mr. Semrani and the firm provided to help the organization incorporate and obtain tax-exempt status.

FOEC was founded to serve the needs of underprivileged elementary, middle school, and high school students who attend Washington, D.C., schools that lack educational resources and after-school activities. Aiming to deter students’ delinquency and academic failure, FOEC developed a multifaceted educational program that gives children the opportunity to participate in sports, academics, and social development activities.

“This organization is meeting the critical needs of at-risk youth in D.C.,” said Mr. Semrani. “I was thrilled to be able to use my legal knowledge to help them do such important work.”

Incorporated in January 2010, FOEC has hundreds of children actively enrolled in its programs and activities. Twenty alumni of the FOEC programs have received full athletic scholarships from some of the best private high schools in Washington, D.C.

Mr. Semrani, an associate in Ballard Spahr’s Energy and Project Finance Group, represents a variety of energy companies and trade associations in regulatory matters and transactions. He maintains an active pro bono practice. In 2011, he received the Alan J. Davis Award for successfully representing a Rwandan genocide survivor in his petition for political asylum.

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Pro Bono