Dale Vester catapulted from troubled youth to JROTC cadet at Patterson High School, all with the help of the MY Teen Court program. MY Baltimore City Teen Court receives cases that would otherwise be processed through the Department of Juvenile Services. Dale found himself in trouble because as he put it, “I was doing stupid stuff just to fit in with my homeboys.” Dale openly admitted that back then he didn’t have an open mind and that MY Teen Court program “woke me up and I realized the charges that I had could have gotten me in really big trouble.” Dale was forced to accept responsibility for his actions in front of his peers and his family. Knowing he hurt his mother and father because of his poor decisions had a tremendous impact on him. “I love my family,” Dale affirmed. Youth respondents like Dale are required to complete all sanctions imposed by Teen Court. To complete his sanctions, Dale was required to return to Teen Court as a Juror to deliberate on sanctions to impose on other Respondents. Dale says acting as both a MY Teen Court Respondent and Juror provided him perspective. While listening to other Respondents tell their stories, Dale realized how bad influences in life can get you in trouble with the law. He also gained perspective of how the justice system works. Dale explained that now he can see things from all sides. The experience helped Dale to discover himself and pushed Dale to “do better.” Now Dale is a JROTC cadet and looks forward to a military career in the Air Force as a military technical engineer. He is currently studying for the SAT’s and, with the support of Colonel York and Technical Sergeant Smith, Dale will take the ASVAB Air Force entrance exam. Dale credits MY Baltimore City Teen Court program with helping him get on track and stay out of trouble.
Well, it IS Mock Trial season after all, and not just in Maryland. Since 1983, more than 66,000 Maryland students have participated in the MSBA Statewide High School Mock Trial Competition...and many have gone on to achieve great things. Take Andrew Del Vecchio, for instance. He's a former team member of Montgomery County's Richard Montgomery Mock Trial program. It's not enough that he went on to attend Yale. Nooo. This guy's a super-star! He's part of Yale's Mock Trial team that has reached the National Championship Match five years running...and was victorious in 2016 and again this year. Not too shabby, Andrew...not too shabby at all. We know Mr. Evans is proud of you, and so are all of us at MYLaw! #mocktrial