Teen Court Picnic and Scholarship Award
The Southport-Oak Island Kiwanis Club held its annual Teen Court Picnic and Scholarship Award Ceremony on Monday May 6, at Waterway Park in St. James. Kiwanians from the Southport-Oak Island Kiwanis Club were in attendance along with Kiwanians from the North Brunswick Kiwanis Club. Both clubs provide adult attorney and jury mentors to the CIS Teen Court Program. Teen Court is a juvenile diversion program for first time misdemeanor offenders ages 6-17. Offenders have an opportunity to have their case heard by a jury of their peers and receive a constructive sentence to complete. If the offender completes the sentencing requirements in the designated timeframe, he or she will avoid a juvenile record. This program provides a “second chance” and learning opportunity not only for the offender but also for students from Brunswick County high schools who volunteer to serve as attorneys, jurors, bailiffs and clerks during court proceedings which are held one evening each month at the Brunswick County Courthouse in Bolivia. The Kiwanis Club Teen Court Picnic is a time to honor and thank those students volunteers who are graduating and to encourage those underclassmen who volunteer in the Teen Court Program to continue their service in the coming school year. Teen Court helps students gain valuable leaderships skills and helps develop public speaking and negotiation skills and increases their self-confidence, while also growing their circle of positive peers.
This year’s recipient of the Southport-Oak Island Kiwanis Club Teen Court Scholarship is Madison Ward. Madison has been a dedicated participant in the Teen Court program and upon graduation will pursue a Bachelor degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Madison’s parents were present when she received her scholarship which will provide her with $1,000 per year for each of the four years she will spend earning her degree. Other Teen Court student volunteers who are graduating are Ben Laird, Katherine Rheuby, Whitney Adkins, Jesse Messer, and Ashlyn Cowell. CIS and the District Attorney’s Office wishes each of these graduates all the best as they move on to pursue their college degrees! .
This year, Brunswick County Teen Court celebrates its 20th year serving first time juvenile offenders in Brunswick County. The program is a partnership between the 13th District Attorney’s Office and Communities In Schools of Brunswick County, with financial support from the Juvenile Crime Prevention Council and Brunswick County Government. It is a highly effective program that routinely has recidivism rates of 6% or less annually for offenders who are tracked for one year post-sentence completion to determine if they receive any further legal charges. To learn more about Teen Court or to volunteer please visit www.cisbrunswick.org or contact the Teen Court Director at 253-4087.