UNH Law Teen Court Honored at Spirit of NH Awards
The University of New Hampshire School of Law chapter of Teen Court (UNH Law Teen Court) was honored recently at the annual Spirit of New Hampshire awards. Each fall, the statewide recognition celebration is hosted by Volunteer NH in collaboration with the Office of the Governor. Spirit of New Hampshire awards honor outstanding contributions to volunteerism throughout the state of New Hampshire.
The UNH Law Teen Court team was a finalist in the Higher Education category of the Volunteer Program Champion Awards. The UNH Law Teen Court team trains and mentors first-time juvenile offenders in Merrimack County as a viable sentencing alternative for the teens. Law students volunteer their time to teach legal process to teens who act as teen defense and prosecuting attorneys, as well as jurors, in the Teen Diversion Program.
Jennifer Makahusz, a second year law student, says, "Teen Court is an extremely valuable program because it provides youth with a second chance. All too often children enter the system and are unable to bounce back. The Teen Court Program allows youth to learn from their mistakes in a positive way." The Teen Court program seeks to help rehabilitate youth offenders by teaching them about the legal system and encouraging them to give back to their community.
But the UNH Law volunteers are not only teachers. "Since joining the program, I have learned a lot from the youth I mentor, as well as the judges who volunteer their time. Teen Court is an excellent example of a community coming together." says Jennifer. "The Spirit of New Hampshire Awards celebration was an eye-opening event. As a resident of New Hampshire from the age of ten, I can truly say that I am honored to live in a state where volunteering is held in such high regard."
- Student Life