Past student participants of the Supreme Judicial Court's
Judicial Youth Corps program in Worcester spoke about its
life-changing effects during a five-year anniversary event held at
the Worcester Trial Court on July 22.
"After working in the probation department, I was able to really
see justice as a developing process, rather than a cut-and-dry
administrative tool," said David LeBoeuf, a 2007 intern in the
Central District Court Probation Department. He credited the
experience with helping him choose his current area of study at
Harvard University: urban studies and community development.
"It's not just about law and order, it's about rehabilitation,"
said LeBoeuf, a 2008 graduate of South High School in
The Massachusetts Bar Association works with the SJC to
administer the Worcester Judicial Youth Corps, a 14-week program
that teaches public high school students about the judicial branch
of government and fundamental principles of law. The program is
also offered in Boston.
"The five-year anniversary of this remarkable program is an
important milestone, but it will not be its last. We expect to
celebrate again in coming years as the Judicial Youth Corps
continues to flourish in Worcester," said Denise Squillante, whose
term as MBA president ended Aug. 31.
The Massachusetts Bar Foundation, the philanthropic partner of
the MBA, is the lead supporter of the program, with additional
funding this year from the MBA Insurance Agency and the Worcester
County Bar Foundation.
"This experience will likely stay with the participants for the
rest of their lives," MBF President Joseph P.J. Vrabel Jr. said.
"We're all very proud of you and your accomplishments."
The 2011 program included a seven-week orientation to the court
system hosted at Bowditch & Dewey LLP in Worcester and
seven-week paid internships within various Worcester court
"I anticipate that many of these alumni here in Worcester will
become teachers, CPAs, lawyers, police. Whatever career path that
they choose, we know that they will perform well. Our goal has
always been to expand their horizons," said SJC Chief Justice
Roderick L. Ireland, an advisor to and ardent supporter of the
program since it began in 1991 in Boston.
"The JYC may be the one program where everyone involved feels
they've done something good … and we have made a difference in the
life of a child," Ireland said.
"My vision is to see this program in every city and town across
the state. If we can expose young people to the third branch of
government, it will make them good citizens and it will make our
state a better state."
Jelisa Adair, a 2008 alum of the program and a 2009 graduate of
Doherty Memorial High School in Worcester, said all participants
should recognize JYC as an amazing opportunity. "To actually be
able to witness these various court proceedings is such a privilege
-- it is all so impressive," she said. "Use the incredible
resources you have at your disposal to make this an experience you
will never forget."