For many high school students returning from the February Mid-Winter Vacation, the days leading up to the International Model United Nation Association Conference in New York City is an opportunity to hone legal resolutions and develop policy positions. For one student in particular, graduating senior Dylan Brousseau-Vora, the trip goes hand-in-hand with additional “legal work” as an active participant and volunteer in the Nassau County Youth Court Program.
Administered by the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office and under the supervision of Hofstra University law students, the Youth Court Program provides a forum where Dylan and and his peers serve as attorneys, bailiffs and clerks in real cases for individuals younger than 18 who commit low-level offenses.
Every Tuesday and Thursday, the graduating senior travels to the Hempstead Village Court to serve in the role of prosecutor/advocate or defense attorney. “The experience,” says Dylan “has given me an opportunity to hear real low-level offenses committed by juveniles in the community and to give a second chance at a clean record to those juveniles.” Beyond the courtroom experience, the program has given Dylan some excellent skills that he hopes to someday use in a legal career in the future, should he choose that path.
“This activity, which directly impacts others,” said High School Guidance Counselor Suzanne Miller, “is one where Dylan has learned first-hand about the law and the criminal justice process and has also further developed his ability to advocate for others while learning how to look at issues from multiple angles.”
To learn more about the Nassau County Youth Court Program, visit www.nassaucountyny.gov/558/Youth-Development