Posted: October 20th, 2011 | By: Lisa Snedeker
Wake Forest University School of Law students are partnering with Reclaiming Futures Forsyth County and Advanced Placement, BHHS to serve as mentors to youth who have entered into the juvenile court system.
Under the Pro Bono program at the law school, students are encouraged to provide voluntary legal services to community organizations. In honor of National Pro Bono Week, Oct. 24-28, Advanced Placement, BHHS, will host a reception at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 26, at 901 North Cleveland Ave. to celebrate the collaboration. During the reception, law students will be matched with their mentees.
The Honorable William B. Reingold, Chief District Court Judge of Forsyth County, initiated the partnership between Wake Forest and Reclaiming Futures. “I felt it would be a natural fit to have these students paired with youth involved in the juvenile court system to not only be role models but to also provide needed information to ensure they don’t become repeat offenders.”
Since 2008, Reclaiming Futures Forsyth County has worked diligently to bring together various stakeholders to ensure area youth successfully matriculate through the juvenile justice system. The local affiliate is one of six initiatives across North Carolina and among the 26 initiatives nationwide.
Professor Beth Hopkins, the law school’s outreach director, stated, “We are excited to add this mentoring program through Reclaiming Futures Forsyth County and Advanced Placement BHHS as an ongoing opportunity for our students to impart knowledge as to the legal consequences of making bad choices and to give back to their local communities.”
Christopher Stewart, executive director of Advanced Placement, stated, “Our agency is honored to be a part of this collaboration to provide mentoring opportunities for court-involved youth to be successful.”
Advanced Placement will provide the necessary support, monitoring and tracking of the mentoring program. Mentors will have contact with their youth at least four hours a month and will engage in various activities such as college tours, job training, and life skills development. Law students will share information with their mentees regarding what the legal consequences are of inappropriate behavior and how multiple offenses affect one’s ability to enjoy a healthy lifestyle. Reclaiming Futures Forsyth County plans to expand its partnerships and is seeking other community organizations and individuals to provide resources and opportunities to support court-involved youth.