Seven outstanding area teens will receive Recognition Scholarships totaling $12,500 for their service to Assistance League of Charlotte Teen Court. These “teens helping teens” served 466 hours in the past year, serving as jurors and attorneys in the program.
According to Kay Faucette, an Assistance League member volunteer that has worked with Teen Court since it began 26 years ago, “Teen Court is a transformative experience for so many teens—both those volunteering and those being served. Assistance League welcomes this opportunity to recognize the work devoted to this program and the growth experienced by our 2022 Recognition Scholarship recipients.”
Teen Court is a restorative justice program, enabling youth to take responsibility for their actions with hearings held before a jury of peers and with teen attorneys representing defense and prosecution. Juries determine sentences to enable the youth to learn from their mistakes.
How has this Teen Court experience benefited our scholarship recipients? In applying for the award, the seniors shared countless ways their lives have been enriched and transformed through this program. Please continue reading to see what they have to say:
Amy Chuquijajas: “Reaffirming my career aspirations to work alongside the immigrant population is not the only gift Teen Court provided me. What cannot be taught are the small things like how to carry yourself with an anxious juvenile or perhaps his grandmother.”
Breana Fowler: “When faced with the challenges of being an advocate for others, it is imperative as a leader to listen to others’ needs instead of making assumptions.”
Laura Han: “Teen Court is an exercise in empathy and active listening. Not one of the cases challenged my belief that restorative justice worked better than retributive justice.”
Ethan James: “It is crucial to work with youth to help break the chains/cycle of their environment, helping them see that there is more on life’s path.”
Max Marlow: “I learned how to be patient and to work together as a team to create a meaningful and impactful change in young teen’s lives.”
Miliani Smith: “As I venture into college, I am looking forward to continuing my involvement in grassroots and community based efforts to fight against inequities.”
Logan Sterling: “Throughout the past six years, I have learned so much about the criminal justice system and law that it inspired me to want to pursue a career as an attorney.”