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Metro Nashville juvenile court program helps high schoolers become community leaders

Posted at 4:41 PM, Aug 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-28 21:22:52-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Metro Nashville Davidson County Juvenile Court held its annual Youth Court Training event for high school students.

The two-day event which started on Wednesday was held at Rocketown. Presenters who work with the Juvenile Court offered about 200 students a chance to become the next restorative leaders in their community through several presentations.

Representatives from the Oasis Center, Raphah Institute, and more spoke with students about how they can get involved in their community and answered questions about how their non-profits work.

"I think there is a strong commitment of our district attorney, our juvenile court judge, our public defender, our police chief to have better outcomes for our young people. So I'm really proud of Davidson County and its systems partners. There is still more work to do. We can still be more courageous. I think the main question that we all need to ask though is not what's wrong with the young person but what's happening to them and begin to address those needs," Travis Claybrooks said. Claybrooks is the CEO and founder of Raphah Institute, a non-profit that helps people deal with trauma in society.

High school students said they enjoyed activities about diversity and inclusion. KeMaurius Wright, 16, said he wants to help others in court when he grows up. "I think stuff like this is great especially for minorities when we get here and we learn more about stuff that we can actually do. We're not just faced with oh we can only ever be this one thing because we're stereotyped to be that way," Wright said.

Darysha Ingram, 16, attends Whites Creek High School and said she wants to be a lawyer. "Be confident in yourself, don't be afraid to be who you are," she said.

On Thursday, the students will wrap up the event with more activities and presentations. They will also participate in a swearing-in ceremony recognizing their program completion.