Volunteer Rosie Kuzmic teaches teens about the roles of the court clerk and bailiff. Kuzmic has 30 years’ experience working in the court system. Photo by Michelle Chance

Local teenagers participated in the first training for the Maricopa Teen Court Wednesday at Copper Sky.

Nearly 25 students interested in becoming officers of the developing court heard from county legal experts and volunteers familiar with court roles and proceedings.

Pinal County Juvenile Probation Supervisor Teresa Fuller said a majority of the teens in attendance are students of Student Choice High School, a small charter school that operates out of Copper Sky.

Jim Davis, executive director of SCHS, said students will earn an elective credit for their participation in the training and future volunteer work with the teen court.

Davis said the credit opportunity was offered to every student at the school for the educational component the experience brings, but also in the hopes it could inspire career paths.

“The ultimate goal for us is to create an engagement piece so that (students) get to do something that might spark an interest of something in the future that they would do,” Davis said.

The teen court program is just one way the school is looking to collaborate with community agencies. The school is on track to partner with the Maricopa Police Department as well, Davis said.

There are five Student Choice High School locations in Arizona; the Maricopa campus functions as “drop-out recovery,” according to its website.

“Our ultimate goal is to get kids off the streets and to get them to finish their diploma so it impacts the community in a very positive way,” Davis said.

Fuller said teens who registered for the training but did not attend Wednesday’s meeting are still eligible to join the remainder of the trainings Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Copper Sky.

For more information contact Teresa Fuller at tefuller@courts.az.gov or (520) 866-7061.

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