The Frances McClelland Youth Vision Award is given to honor a youth leader or group of leaders who are working towards improving the well-being of children, youth, families, and community. The youth embody the strength, dedication, vision and passion that Frances McClelland exhibited throughout her life and youth. This award is for a youth leader or a group of leaders who inspire hope for Arizona’s future. Frances overcame adversity through her life and manifested resilience. We are looking for youth that embody Frances’ spirit of valuing her immigrant roots, overcoming adversity, and demonstrating resilience in the face of challenges. We are looking for future professionals who will work with individuals and families in careers of family, health, criminal justice, psychology, social work, healthcare practitioners, teaching, and other related fields. The youth leader or group of leaders should be between 11-22 years old.
A program of the YWCA Southern Arizona, Pima County Teen Court is a peer-led juvenile court diversion program that uses the principles of restorative justice, service learning, and positive youth development to reduce juvenile crime recidivism. Teen Court was developed in 1995 as a community response to the over-representation of minorities in the juvenile justice system and has since lowered the juvenile crime recidivism risk of nearly 8,000 Pima County adolescents. Teen Court accepts referrals from Pima County Juvenile Court for youth ages 12-17 who were arrested for crimes approved for diversion by the court. Youth enter Teen Court by participating in a hearing where they:
account for the behavior that led up to their arrest,
receive feedback from teens in the community on how to repair the harm they caused, and
are sentenced by a peer jury to complete a set of constructive consequences that are designed to impart consequences for their crimes, address the harm caused, restore relationships, and increase participants’ knowledge and skills.
The unique aspect of Teen Court is that trained youth volunteers serve as attorneys, bailiffs, clerks, and jurors. All teens who regularly volunteer with Teen Court are automatically members of the Teen Court Bar Association. Members elect their own Officers (President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Documentarian). The Officers conduct monthly Bar Meetings which include opportunities to debrief and reflect on their service as well as raise topics and questions for program improvement. Officers work with other members and staff to plan quarterly professional development and volunteer recognition. While living the mantra of “nothing about us, without us”, Teen Court heavily relies on the leadership of its youth volunteers to reflect emerging needs in the community and the values of diversity, equity and inclusion.