MBF Fellows Grant will expand Judicial Youth Corps program in Worcester

Issue April 2008 By Jennifer Rosinski

A Fellows Grant of $53,319 from the Massachusetts Bar Foundation has made it possible to double to 20 the number of high school students who can participate in the Worcester portion of the Supreme Judicial Court’s Judicial Youth Corps Program this summer. The program in Worcester will also be expanded from seven to 14 weeks.

MBA Executive Director Marilyn J. Wellington explained that the MBA is delighted that the grant will help to expand the program and provide an opportunity to serve more students in Worcester.

“The program’s greatest benefit to young people is in the in-depth under-standing of the justice system and how it impacts their lives and their communities that is gained by students participating in the program,” she said. “This invaluable program both educates students and provides them with meaningful summer jobs.”

A $21,750 Fellows Grant from the MBF, the philanthropic partner of the MBA, last year returned the Judicial Youth Corps Program to Worcester after a long hiatus. Last year’s program accepted 10 students on an abbreviated seven-week schedule.

“The Foundation is so proud to play a role in supporting this innovative program. It provides the rare opportunity to expose these students to the law and to public interest work, and at the same time, it helps them recognize their own professional potential,” MBF Executive Director Elizabeth M. Lynch said. “It is truly a win-win for all those involved.”

Designed for urban high school students, the Judicial Youth Corps Program was established by the Supreme Judicial Court’s Public Information Office in 1991. The program teaches young people about the judicial branch and fundamental principles of law. The four-month program consists of two educational components: a seven-week orientation to the court system and a seven-week courthouse internship session in July and August.

When the program originally began, students in Boston, Worcester and Springfield were eligible. In recent years, the program has been limited to students in Boston due to financial constraints. The Boston Private Industry Council has funded the Boston portion of the program in recent years.