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Judiciary Hosts Unique Oratorical Contest

Young people from juvenile facilities throughout the state came to the Maryland Court of Appeals to compete in the 22nd annual Department of Juvenile Services (DJS) Oratorical Contest on November 16, 2016. Court of Appeals Judge Clayton Greene, Jr., hosted the event, which, he said, “provides participants with a chance to interact with the courts in a positive way and have their voices heard at the highest level.” The 10 finalists delivered heartfelt speeches inspired by the poem “Don’t Quit” to Judge Greene, a panel of judges, and a courtroom of families and supporters.

Each participant, who had reached the final by winning an oratorical competition at their DJS facility, received a trophy. First place overall was earned by Prince G. from Charles H. Hickey, Jr. School, while Kevin B., Baltimore City Juvenile Justice Center, and Jordan L., Lower Eastern Shore Children's Center, received trophies for second and third place. The judges for the event were Keisha Matthews, Academic Curriculum Coordinator for the Juvenile Services Education Program Branch within the Maryland Department of Education, DJS Office of Commitment Facilities Executive Director John Stevenson, and Maryland State Law Library Deputy Director James Durham.

“The preparation and perseverance these young people displayed was remarkable,” said Judge Greene. “Their participation in this competition shows their ability to make positive choices, while overcoming obstacles they face in their lives.”

The contest, which is sponsored by the Department of Juvenile Services and the Maryland State Department of Education, has been hosted by the Court of Appeals for 21 years.



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