Spartanburg County Criminal Justice Youth Institute is NOW Accepting Applications!

The Spartanburg County Criminal Justice Youth Institute is accepting applications for the 2018 Youth Institute. Through a dynamic collaboration, The Spartanburg County Clerk of Court and The Spartanburg County Foundation are able to present a second year of educating and mentoring youth through the Criminal Justice system. The inaugural year was a great success and we look forward to continuing the work from the previous class.

This four-month leadership training program is designed to introduce Spartanburg County 11th-12th graders to the criminal justice system to help them gain a deeper understanding of the inner-workings of the system, eliminate misconceptions, build long-lasting partnerships between youth and criminal justice officials, and empower Spartanburg County youth to become positive contributors and leaders in our community.

Participation is open to any 11th-12th grader that attends a Spartanburg County public, private, or home school. Forty-five students, including representatives from each of the seven Spartanburg County School Districts will be selected to participate. Participants come from diverse cultures and backgrounds with a desire to learn more about the Criminal Justice System and be a leader in his/her community.

Students will be selected to participate based on the following criteria:
• Must be a high school junior or senior attending a Spartanburg County public, private, or home school
• Have an interest in learning more about the Criminal Justice System
• Be willing to commit to help build long-lasting partnerships with criminal justice officials and be an advocate for making positive choices
• Have a desire to positively change their communities
• Academic merits and school involvement should not be a determining factor; rather, the Institute hopes to engage students of varying involvements, backgrounds, socioeconomic levels, and academic achievements
• Would benefit from learning more about the criminal justice system as well as the consequences of poor choices
• Must be committed to attending the opening retreat, all sessions, and the graduation ceremony

The Institute begins in January with an opening retreat that provides an opportunity for participants to connect with one another in an informal setting and hear from an inspirational leader. Sessions are held January – April, one week day per month, from 8:30am – 12:30pm. A graduation ceremony is held in May.

Individuals interested in applying for the Institute can go to 2018 Criminal Justice Youth Institute Application final 110316 and complete the form. For all other questions, please contact Valerie Sullivan, Program Manager, 864.680.5630 or vbsullivan12@gmail.com.

Modeled after The Spartanburg County Foundation’s Grassroots Leadership Development Institute, participants of the Spartanburg County Criminal Justice Youth Institute are equipped with resources and a better understanding of the Criminal Justice System, enabling them to:

• Understand their rights as individuals as well as the consequences of poor decision-making
• Be a resource for other youth who have questions about the inner-workings of the Criminal Justice System
• Share their knowledge with others about the importance of making positive choices
• Help dispel any misconceptions
• Form long-lasting relationships and partnerships with criminal justice officials
• Further explore a career within the Criminal Justice System
• Assume individual and collective responsibility for positive change in their communities