SJC Judicial Youth Corps Students from Boston and Worcester Participate in Mock Trial, Graduation Ceremony
BOSTON, MA -- High school students from Boston and Worcester who participated in the Supreme Judicial Court's Judicial Youth Corps (JYC) program this summer today finished up the end of their intensive 12-week internship working within the court system with a mock trial in Suffolk Superior Court and a graduation ceremony at the John Adams Courthouse in Boston.
For the past 25 years, the Supreme Judicial Court's Judicial Youth Corps program has provided hundreds of high school students in Boston and Worcester, and last year in Springfield, an environment where they can learn about the rule of law and the judicial branch of government through an intensive educational internship. Students are given a unique opportunity to interact with judges, lawyers and other court staff and observe the judicial process first-hand. Students participate in mock trials, visit courtrooms and work in court departments over the course of weekly educational sessions, a program overseen by court employees who mentor the students from May to August.
This year, the Worcester students squared off against the Boston students in a mock trial of the case Commonwealth v. Breedy. Judge Jonathan Tynes, of the Dorchester Division of the Boston Municipal Court, presided. Boston JYC students prosecuted the case, and Worcester JYC students acted as the defense. Students from both the Worcester and Boston JYC programs served as jurors. The mock trial was followed by a JYC Appreciation Day graduation ceremony at 1:30 p.m. at the John Adams Courthouse, hosted by Supreme Judicial Court Justice Geraldine S. Hines, who was Master of Ceremonies. Current and former JYC participants, their families and court staff were in attendance.
In addition to Supreme Judicial Court Justice Hines, speakers included: Robert W. Harnais, Esq., President of the Massachusetts Bar Association; Janet Aserkoff, Esq., President of the Massachusetts Bar Foundation; Gerald Howland, Esq., Associate Headmaster at Boston Latin School; James Rosseel, Esq., Coordinator of the Worcester Judicial Youth Corps program; Tal Usvyatsky, a student in the Worcester Judicial Youth Corps program; and Anicia Gillespie, a student at the Boston Judicial Youth Corps program.
The Judicial Youth Corps was created in 1991 by then Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Paul J. Liacos. The Hon. Roderick Ireland, Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court from 2010 - 2014, has been actively involved in the program since he was a Boston Juvenile Court judge. The program was created with the goal of bringing together a diverse group of students to spend their summer learning about the court system. That led to the creation of the Judicial Youth Corps program, a paid internship with a rigorous application and interview process, with over 500 graduates. Graduates have gone on to work in various professions, including working as prosecutors, defense attorneys, in private legal practice, and in 2012, a 1991 JYC graduate was appointed as a District of Columbia Superior Court Magistrate Judge. Funding is provided by the City of Boston's Youth Fund, the Boston Private Industry Council, the Massachusetts Bar Association and the Massachusetts Bar Foundation.