PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICE
SUPREME JUDICIAL COURT
John Adams Courthouse
One Pemberton Square
Boston, Massachusetts 02108
Jennifer Donahue/Erika Gully-Santiago
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 17, 2017
High School Students from Boston, Worcester, Springfield Graduate from Supreme Judicial Court's Judicial Youth Corps Program
BOSTON, MA -- High school students from Boston, Worcester and Springfield 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.
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 Springfield JYC program served as jurors.
The mock trial was followed by a JYC Appreciation Day graduation ceremony at the John Adams Courthouse, hosted by Supreme Judicial Court Justice Kimberly S. Budd, who was Mistress of Ceremonies. Current and former JYC participants, their families and court staff were in attendance.
"The program has given hundreds of high school students the chance to learn about the judicial branch of government through educational sessions, internships and, for some, a mock trial experience," Supreme Judicial Court Justice Budd said. "Being part of the Judicial Youth Corps gives students a behind the scenes look at the inner workings of our state court system and has inspired some to go on to work in the legal profession." Noting that the program is "not for the faint of heart," Justice Budd said that, "students have worked very hard over the course of the summer helping to keep our court system running. Notably, many have worked the front counters, interacting with and assisting people who are unfamiliar with the court system and who may come in upset or angry. The students have handled many sticky situations with poise and grace."
In addition to Supreme Judicial Court Justice Budd, speakers included: Christopher P. Sullivan, Esq., President-Elect of the Massachusetts Bar Association; Harvey Weiner, Esq., Vice-President of the Massachusetts Bar Foundation; Gerald Howland, Esq., Educational Director of the Boston Judicial Youth Corps; James Rosseel, Esq., Educational Director of the Worcester Judicial Youth Corps program; Samuel Charon, Esq., Educational Director of the Springfield Judicial Youth Corps Program; Alexis Thomas, a Cathedral High School student and a participant of the Boston Judicial Youth Corps program; Rachel Black, a Doherty High School student and a participant of the Worcester Judicial Youth Corps program; and Jada Ficarra, a Sabis International Charter School student and a participant of the Springfield Judicial Youth Corps program.
For more than 25 years, the Supreme Judicial Court's Judicial Youth Corps program has provided hundreds of high school students in Boston, Worcester and 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.
The Judicial Youth Corps was created in 1991 by then Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Paul J. Liacos. Hon. Roderick Ireland, Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court from 2010 - 2014, was actively involved in the program, beginning when 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.