A Peer Juror’s Experience
By Haley Beube
Now I’m a college student, but I consider my 3 years in high school as a peer juror a rewarding and educational experience. It definitely taught me to stay out of trouble. Because of the Peer Jury Program, I have seen the results of mistakes being made by kids just like me. I learned from them, and we learned from each other how to make good choices and to stay safe. Also, I learned valuable lessons and developed skills I continue to use today and will continue to use in the future, including effective communication skills in highly tense situations and being able to ask the right questions.
From my experience, the Program is also beneficial to our community because it relieves police of run of the mill issues, like underage drinking, so they can focus on more serious issues to support our community. Part of the Peer Jury Program was having teens do mandatory community service. As a result, I learned of the wonderful service opportunities we have in our County, and I have looked into helping at them as well. Also, because I volunteered my time I felt I was giving back to my community and helping others.
Kids who took take advantage of a second chance were from all backgrounds. I observed kids learn their lesson and lend their time with mandatory court-ordered community service. Also, the Program is preventative because kids are told clearly what the repercussions and sentence would have been if they did not have access to Peer Jury.
The Program makes our community better with the service as well as allowing our kids to succeed and not have it jeopardize their future.
My hope is that our Board will think logically and clearly about the repercussions of discontinuing a successful Peer Jury Program. Not only will it jeopardize the futures and potential of our County’s children, but it will reflect badly upon the community as whole. When our youth succeeds, our whole community succeeds.