Learning about the law and working
in the court system for 14 weeks this summer has changed the lives
of nearly 50 public high school students from Boston and Worcester
who participated in the Supreme Judicial Court's 19th
annual Judicial Youth Corps program.
"It was a unique experience and it
has prepared us for the future in ways I'm sure we can't even
realize yet," said Nathan Raymond Bricault, a participant who spoke
at JYC Appreciation Day on Aug. 21 at the John Adams Courthouse in
Boston. Bricault is a student at the Massachusetts Academy of
Mathematics and Science at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
A $51,225 Fellows grant from the
Massachusetts Bar Foundation, the philanthropic partner of the
Massachusetts Bar Association, made it possible to continue the
Worcester portion of the program this year. The MBF has provided
funding annually to the Worcester portion of the program since
"Part of what we get to do as
lawyers is make justice every day … I really do think getting to
participate in any piece of that is the greatest job you can do,"
MBA President Valerie A. Yarashus said to the students, who hailed
from 15 Boston schools and seven Worcester schools.
"Congratulations to all of you. You
have done a fabulous job. I'm delighted we could help support this
in some way."
The JYC program, established by the
SJC's Public Information Office in 1991, teaches young people about
the judicial branch of government 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.
This year's participants worked in
the housing, municipal, superior and family and probate courts in
Boston and Worcester, among others.
"I'm so impressed with the students.
You kids are so much smarter than my generation," said SJC Senior
Associate Justice Roderick L. Ireland. "My hope for each one of you
students when you move forward is you keep in mind the best is yet
Bricault, the Worcester student,
shared the lessons all students learned in the program. In addition
to gaining an awareness of the law and the legal community,
Bricault said he and fellow students learned how to interact with
people from all walks of life and discovered that there are
individuals behind the titles of judge, lawyer, victim and
"The importance of these lessons
cannot be overstated," he said.
The Boston Private Industry Council and the City of Boston
funded the Boston portion of the program.