Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Summer 2015 Highlights!

Good Luck Class of 2015!
The Newark Youth Court kicked off the summer on a bittersweet note by holding the annual graduation ceremony for 5 seniors, who are all currently in their first year of college! The ceremony and cookout was held at Newark Community Solutions’ anti-violence project, Newark United Against Violence (NUAV). The ceremony featured a keynote address by senior Naa Adei Kotey. The other graduating seniors (Zaire Brown, Kianna George, Bria Pitts, & Michael McGibbon) gave remarks and advice to younger members. Seniors received goody bags filled with school supplies donated by Newark Community Solutions and Newark Municipal Court staff members. The event also included a live DJ and dance party for the graduates!

Newark Municipal Court's Summer Enrichment Mock Trial with La Casa de Don Pedro
As part of our annual summer service project, our Youth Court members and interns prepared 2nd graders at La Casa de Don Pedro’s Summer Enrichment program for their own mock trial. Members used the New Jersey State Bar Foundation's mock trial guide to help them lead sessions with the students.
The "The Case of the Missing Puppy" mock trial event was hosted and sponsored by the Newark Municipal Court with Chief Judge Victoria Pratt presiding. For many of the students it was their first time in a real life courthouse! At the end of the event, participants asked Judge Pratt questions about her career and had the opportunity to try on her robe in the judge’s chair!

National Night Out and Mural
In 2014, our Youth Court members worked with Newark Community Solutions’ to create a theme and mural design for its adopt-a-lot garden in the West Ward. Youth Court members presented their anti-violence theme and design at NCS’s National Night Out event last year. The mural was then unveiled at NCS’s 2015 National Night Out. Youth Court members and respondents prepped the wall for local artist Gregg Banks, who brought the Youth Court’s vision to life!

9th Class Training & Induction
The Newark Youth Court also held its 9th training class this summer! A special thank you to our guest trainers: Laura Cohen, Esq. and Dr. Paul Boxer (Center for Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice, Rutgers-Newark); Det. Sequoya Martin (Newark Police Department- Youth Aid Section); and France Casseus, Esq. and Herbert Washington, Esq. (Newark Municipal Court-Prosecutor’s Office).

An induction ceremony was held for the new members and included a keynote address from Dean Kenya Tyson of Rutgers-Newark School of Criminal Justice and remarks by Newark Municipal Council President Mildred Crump and Councilman at-Large Carlos Gonzalez. Chief Judge Victoria Pratt administered the oath and provided encouraging words. Welcome Class 9!