- Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
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Media Contact for Supreme Judicial Court Justice Kimberly S. Budd Addresses Judicial Youth Corps Students at Graduation Ceremony
Jennifer Donahue and Erika Gully-Santiago
BOSTON, MA — At a ceremony today in the John Adams Courthouse, Supreme Judicial Court Justice Kimberly S. Budd delivered remarks at a graduation ceremony celebrating 36 high school students from Boston, Worcester and Springfield who participated in the Supreme Judicial Court's Judicial Youth Corps (JYC) program over the spring and summer. The ceremony marked the end of an intensive 12-week internship program where students worked in positions within the court system or in court-related offices, made field trips to police stations, jails and law firms, and participated in a mock trial in Suffolk Superior Court as part of the comprehensive educational program.
Addressing the students before a packed room, Supreme Judicial Court Justice Budd recalled first meeting the students earlier in the spring. "It's hard to believe that it was June when I welcomed you to the program before you started your assignments. I know that you may have been a little nervous, not knowing what to expect. For some of you, it was your first real job. I told you how important it was to take your job seriously and to do your best to help others. I know that you did that and we can't wait to see what you do next."
Irankunda Roza, a participant in the Springfield JYC program, spoke on behalf of the students. She spoke of looking forward to attending college after graduating from high school to pursue a degree in a field where she could, "wake up every morning full of excitement and ready to learn."
Other speakers included Jeffrey Catalano, Esq., past president of the Massachusetts Bar Association, and Harvey Weiner, Esq., president of the Massachusetts Bar Foundation. The three education coordinators who advised the students were Gerald Howland, Esq., for the Boston JYC program; James Rosseel, Esq., for the Worcester JYC program; and Samuel Charon, Esq., for the Springfield JYC program.
The Judicial Youth Corps Program is an educational spring and summer internship that teaches high school students about the Massachusetts court system and rule of law. High school students are selected from large pools of applicants through a rigorous application and interview process to participate in the Judicial Youth Corps program. First started in Boston by former Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Paul J. Liacos (Ret.) in 1991, with the help of former Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Roderick L. Ireland (Ret.), the Judicial Youth Corps program affords high school students the opportunity to learn more about the rule of law and the judicial branch through interactions with judges, clerks, lawyers, and court staff who mentor them throughout the summer. A Judicial Youth Corps program was also developed in Worcester in 2000 and in Springfield in 2014.
During May and June, the students attend weekly educational sessions where they learn about criminal and civil law and the role of courts in a democracy. In July and August, the students work in paid internships in the courts or in court-related offices. Hundreds of students have benefited from the court and community partnership program over the years, with many former participants going on to lead successful careers in law, government, business, health care and academia.
Funding for the JYC program is provided by the City of Boston's Youth Fund, the Boston Private Industry Council, the Massachusetts Bar Association and the Massachusetts Bar Foundation.