Progress

Connections 2017

Goldsboro News Argus - Progress Edition

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11 CLASSES START SOON. ENROLL NOW! 1-844-UMO-GOAL • www.umo.edu STARTING OR FINISHING YOUR DEGREE IS MORE CONVENIENT THAN EVER AT CHECK OUT YOUR OPTIONS: Daytime Degree Programs for Recent High School Graduates and College Transfers 1 Night a Week Degree Programs for Adult Students Daytime & Evening Degree Programs at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base Online Degree Programs Including Associate, Bachelor, and Master Degree Options Continued from 10 Court Jordan was referred to the program by the school resource officer, and he fin- ished his 12 hours of com- munity service, wrote an essay on anger management and listened to an inmate talk about ways of overcom- ing a criminal past. He completed Teen Court in one month. He said he initially attended Wayne Middle/High School Acade- my after his charge, but he returned to Charles B. Aycock in January. A sopho- more, Jordan said he would like to join the Army after graduation. "I (had) never really been to court. It was my first time," he said. "But it was a great experience, coming in and seeing how the court system works and actually following the rules." Jordan now volunteers as a juror to help other stu- dents change their lives. "I thought it was a good experience," he said. "It's not boring. It's actually pretty fun hearing other people's stories and seeing people correct themselves where they went wrong." Though VanHook never received any criminal charges as a teenager, she volunteered for Teen Court during her junior and senior years at Charles B. Aycock. She said her mother pushed her to be involved in community service and stay busy. "After volunteering as a jury member for months I finally built up the courage to volunteer as a defense attorney and as a prosecutor on some nights," she said, who graduated from the University of North Carolina with a degree in sociology. Following graduation from UNC in 2013, she attended law school at N.C. Central University, receiving her juris doctor degree this past May. She is currently studying to take the bar exam this month, which will only enhance her current job. VanHook said statistics from 2016 show 101 teenagers successfully completed Teen Court in one year. She said only one teenager who success- fully completed the program has received a mis- demeanor charge since VanHook became the director. She said recidivism is higher with stu- dents who do not complete Teen Court. "We all made mistakes in high school, or just growing up in general," VanHook said. "We were lucky that we were never charged and had to go to court. If I can do something to keep a child's criminal record clean, so that a mistake they made when they were younger doesn't affect the future, I'm happy to do that." Connie Rouse holds a photo of her son at Spring Creek Middle School. Her son, Spencer Rouse, com- pleted Teen Court and is now a Marine.

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