Lucas Korn, 17, believes in helping others get a second chance.
A volunteer at the Miami Teen Court, he guides first-time young offenders in Miami-Dade County through alternative trial procedures.
“As a volunteer, I have the privilege of serving as a student defense attorney as we attempt to discipline student peers before a judge or active attorney instead of the traditional juvenile court system,” said Lucas said.
“I joined in order to ensure that a single miner’s mistake would not mark it with a scarlet letter for the rest of his life.”
Lucas, a junior at Don Soffer Aventura High School, said Teen Court even allows youngsters to purge their wrongdoing records when their penalties end.
“From writing a letter of apology to those they have wronged, openly apologizing to a parent in court, community service, youth court jury duty and/or writing of an essay explaining the wrongfulness of their criminal act, the youth court process is a chance for a participant to learn and assess the progress of correcting an error,” he said.
Teen Court is now in its 25th year and Lucas is honored to be part of the North Dade Justice Center program.
“It was an open-minded and remarkable process to be part of,” he said. “In recognition of the program’s 25th anniversary, my goal is to host a public occasion to celebrate Miami Teen Court.
“My idea would be to increase visibility and awareness of the good that Teen Court is capable of producing while recognizing the administrators of the Miami-Dade Advocacy Trust and its student and adult volunteers. These are the people who allowed him to become the success that he is over the years.
“Hopefully other cities in Florida and across the country can look to Miami-Dade as a guide to start their own youth courts after noticing the wealth of justice it is able to offer our young people. In nearly 25 years, more than 7,800 second chances have been given to young first-time offenders, accompanied by a recidivism rate of less than 3%.Spreading the success of Miami’s Teen Court can be a step towards healing our country.
Contact Lucas at [email protected]
Sign up for the Audubon program for free
Become a lifetime champion of South Florida’s birds, other wildlife, and natural places by enrolling in the free 2022 Tropical Audubon Ambassador Program Sept. 6 to 15 Nov..
The award-winning educational series is designed to activate environmental ambassadors who want to “beat the drum” for South Florida’s threatened ecosystems. The program will feature a new interactive online format and the return of field trips.
Participants will receive comprehensive advocacy training from environmental experts. Learn more and register at www.tropicalaudubon.org
Help restore Camp Mahachee
Anyone driving Old Cutler Road passes a property that has been taken over by vines. Inside this jungle is beloved Camp Mahachee, long loved by Girl Scouts.
Thanks to philanthropic groups renovating the property, the next generation of scouts will be able to enjoy an enriched experience. Camp Mahachee turns 75 next year.
The 11-acre camp property was purchased in 1945 with funds from Girl Scout Cookie sales. The goal of the cleanup is to remove, by hand, all invasive, stinking sewer vines and replace them with native trees. Groups have been volunteering since July.
The second phase will restore the hardwood hammock with 2,000 saplings of native species that provide habitat for birds and wildlife. The third final phase will include a new pollinator garden.
The partnership is led by the PARKnership Fund of the Coral Gables Community Foundation, the Coral Gables Garden Club, the Kerdyk and Withers families, and Coral Gables Mayor Vince Lago. To volunteer or donate, visit https://gablesfoundation.org/impact-work/parknership-fund/
ArtesMiami Elects New Chairman of the Board
Congratulations to María Bechily, Public Relations Manager and Philanthropist, who was elected Chair of the ArtesMiami Board of Directors.
“The programs and artists supported by ArtesMiami are crucial in strengthening Miami’s position as an international center for arts and culture,” Bechily said. “I hope to provide strategic leadership to our Board of Directors so that we can further develop the organization.”
Bechily created one of the first public relations and marketing agencies to identify and reach Hispanic consumers in Chicago. She serves on the board of the Pérez Art Museum Miami and is a life trustee of the Goodman Theater in Chicago, where she is the founding chair of the board’s education committee.
ArtesMiami began in 1995 sponsoring the Seville Fair in Miami and later the Spanish Fair in Miami. It is led by publicist and philanthropist Aida Levitan. His latest program is the ArtesMiami Film Fund, which will donate thousands of dollars to documentary filmmakers. More than www.artesmiami.org
Miami Rotary Scholarships
Each year, the Thomas Brown McClelland Trust offers scholarships to Miami-Dade students aspiring to become doctors. The Rotary Club of Miami serves as administrator.
The Fund, established in 1980, was created after the death of club member McClelland, a US Department of Agriculture horticulturist. In his will, he provided funds to help medical students pay for their education costs.
Since 1983, more than $7.7 million in scholarship funds have been distributed to nearly 825 individuals. This year, 75 recipients were selected, the majority attending medical schools in Florida, including Central Florida (1), Nova (1), University of Florida (2), University of Miami (6), University of South Florida ( 1) and Florida International. University (51). More than www.miamirotary.org
Write to [email protected] with news for this column.