A sense of accomplishment on Wednesday night for 27 students that were inducted into the 2017 Elmira Youth Court.
Friends and family gathered inside of City Hall’s courtroom for the special induction ceremony.
Youth Court allows students to participate in real life court cases involving misdemeanors and violations committed by children ages 7-13. The 27 students were chosen among an initial pool of over 70 applicants and endured a tough vetting process along the way.
“We had seven weeks of training and then after that we had a Bar Exam and an interview,” inductee, Mara Bennett said. “I’m excited to see the rewarding experience of it and help out in my community and give back to others.”
The overall experience is aimed at exposing inductees to an array of issues faced throughout the justice system.
“This is a wonderful program that’s not only beneficial to the kids as a learning experience,” Elmira City Court Judge, Steven Forrest said. “Real hands-on experience in the justice system judging their peers, learning about procedures, learning about evidence, and learning about details.”
This group of inductees will begin to serve their community as soon as March.
The Elmira Youth Court has been a resounding success since its creation in 1997, completing over 300 cases per year.