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December 15, 2010

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December 15, 2010

I have been in youth court for two years now. I have served as both defense and prosecuting attorney. I feel that the people involved with youth court really take time to help those in need. I enjoy the hard work that every day people, mostly teenagers like myself, put into this organization. I have seen young people grow and have watched what others have done with their choices.





Youth court has allowed me to learn lessons from other people's experience as well as help others in a fun and productive way. I enjoy working with this program and am proud to have met such hard working and honest people.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I see the results of the work of youth court every day. I see young people stealing, fighting and hurting one another. It hurts to see such things and to know I am making a difference makes me proud.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would focus on getting our message out to clients and promote youth court in general.

December 15, 2010

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Review from Guidestar
December 15, 2010

North Star Youth Court and Mediation is a phenomenal community organization, and I am proud to have been volunteering with them since January 2006. I grew up in North Pole and Fairbanks, Alaska, and partied quite hard from a young age. I experienced numerous problem incidents, unwanted sexual encounters, and barely escaped death from alcohol before I finally quit drinking in July 2004. As NSYC developed their Alcohol Awareness Class for first-time offending minors charged with MCA or possession, they asked me to be the class's guest speaker. Since this organization seeks to inform, educate and empower young offenders rather than talk down to them or berate them, NSYC figured the students would likely relate to my experiences, feel comfortable enough to ask tough questions, and hopefully learn vicariously through me. They also structure the class to be as educational and fun as such a class can be, led by youth volunteers who are committed to helping their peers. From the students' immediate reactions to my story, positive class evaluations, and a number of students who have personally contacted me after classes, I am confident this Alcohol Awareness Class is providing an extremely positive alternative to sending youth offenders through the sometimes imposing and often expensive District Court and Juvenile Justice systems.

As my involvement with NSYC continued, my passion for the organization deepened. I truly believe in the mission of NSYC&M, and I greatly appreciate its commitment to so many levels of our community: youth offenders, youth and adult volunteers, and the betterment of our community as a whole. NSYC&M realizes that restorative justice, educating and empowering people who have made mistakes, and promoting community service and youth leadership leads to a healthier community where youth encourage their peers to make positive choices, hold themselves accountable, and have a higher code of responsibility. Past youth volunteers have become nurses, politicians, teachers and community activists. Past youth offenders have become volunteers within NSYC--or chosen to share their stories with others to help them learn lessons vicariously. Fairbanks has seen a lowered rate of youth recidivism. I have witnessed a society of youth that seeks knowledge and wants to make informed decisions rather than feel peer pressured or blindly choose to drink at the young ages that my peers did.

North Star Youth Court is an example of an ideal nonprofit organization that is truly committed to its community. I wholeheartedly support and promote this organization--and am even trying to become an official board of directors member this month (December 2010)!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Please see my review above. I have personally experienced much with NSYC--seeing youth take positive action, encouraging youth to make informed decisions, feeling like my negative alcohol experiences haven't been in vain because many youth have learned vicariously through them.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

...give NSYC more funding to put into fruition all of their goals and see an even greater impact on our community. It would be nice to see the Youth Court and Mediation sides meld into one solid unit. I have very little experience with the Mediation side of this organization, but know that it is a very valuable program so could benefit many of the Youth Court cases as well.

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