Doug – Brunswick County Teen Court and Leland Middle School Peer Court
Doug Young, a retired attorney from New York, was recently awarded the North Carolina Governor’s Volunteer Service Award for his work with CIS and Brunswick County Teen Court. Mr. Young’s volunteer efforts were called “the key to success in Brunswick County.”
Mr. Young retired to Brunswick County in 2006 after a successful career as a trial attorney from New York. He has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity and currently volunteers with Disabled American Veterans serving as a driver for the past eight years. Mr. Young considers himself to be “a selfless public servant.” Because of his extensive legal background, he became involved with Communities In Schools of Brunswick County and the Peer Court program at Leland Middle School in 2011. His involvement with CIS Peer Court led him to learn about CIS and Brunswick County Teen Court. “I have now been serving as a volunteer Teen Court judge for the past four years and still volunteer at Leland Middle School with CIS Peer Court once a month serving as a judge. I use each of these volunteer opportunities to teach students and learn respect for the law. My legal background makes this a great fit for my skills and allows me the opportunity to help students and teach them about the judicial system,” said Mr. Young.
Mr. Young went on to say, “I believe that CIS is a great program and fully deserves my commitment as a volunteer to help make it more successful and impact more young people’s lives.” CIS Peer Court has an 84% success rate of students not reoffending within one year and Brunswick County Teen Court carries a success rate of 96% defendants not reoffending within one year of participating. Peer Court and Teen Court programs are juvenile court diversion programs for first time misdemeanor offenders in middle school (Peer Court) and high school (Teen Court). The programs offer juveniles a “second chance” to learn from their mistakes, complete a constructive sentence decided by a jury of their peers, and thereby avoid a juvenile court record.
“I am thrilled to be able to change student lives by teaching them about our legal system, keeping them out of the judicial system, and being able to give them a second chance with a clean record. I use my volunteer time with CIS Peer Court and Teen Court to teach students the right ways and teach them a respect for the law. CIS Peer Court and Teen Court is worth every dollar spent to keep students out of the county judicial system.”
“One of my most rewarding experiences I have had volunteering with CIS is with a young female middle school student who started volunteering as an attorney in Peer Court. Then through my further volunteering, she turned up as a student attorney in Teen Court. She loves the legal profession and plans to go to law school. Through conversations and mentoring her along, I hope that I have encouraged her and will help her to stay on track to accomplish her education and career goals.”
Mr. Young said, “I am honored to be awarded the Governor’s Volunteer Service Award for my work with CIS and Brunswick County Teen Court. CIS makes it easy for someone who wants to volunteer to get involved. No matter what your background and skill set includes, CIS is the vehicle that connects people in the community to schools and students in need.”