September 30, 2013 -- GFHS senior Jerry Casertino has been named one of just three outstanding Youth Court Volunteers across New York State!
Youth courts train teenagers to serve as jurors, judges and attorneys, handling real-life cases involving their peers, according to the Center for Court Innovation. “The goal of youth court is to use positive peer pressure to ensure that young people who have committed minor offenses pay back the community and receive the help they need to avoid further involvement in the justice system.”
Jerry has been involved with youth court for three years, as both a juror and a trained member. “During this time he has become a daunting prosecutor and a mentor to other members and a role model for the dozens of offenders whose hearings he has been an integral part,” said Judge Judith Kaye, Former Chief Judge of the NYS Court of Appeals, at the award ceremony on September 23 in Albany.
Jerry also participates in Youth Court related fundraisers, meetings with the Board of Supervisors, and participates in other Youth Court activities. Additionally, Jerry is a member of his student council and National Honor Society.
“Not only is he an exemplary Youth Court volunteer, but a young man who truly understands the meaning of volunteerism and being a positive attribute to his community,” said Judge Kaye.
The picture above shows Jerry receiving his award in Albany from Richard Hartunian, US Attorney for the Northern District of New York, and Judge Bernard Malone, Former Judge of the NYS Supreme Court, Appellate Division. Picture courtesy of Brandon Vogel of the New York State Bar Association.