Harrison Carter is an 18-year-old senior at Saint James School in Montgomery. This is his fourth year participating in the YMCA Youth Judicial program. He was an attorney his freshman and junior year. This is his second year as a judge. He was also a judge his sophomore year. This will also be his fourth year as a Youth Legislature participant. He will serve the program as the 2017 Secretary of State. “I’m really looking forward to being a judge this year,” Carter said. “I have had a blast through all my years in the ALYIG programs and can’t wait for this one!”
“My legal hero is Chief Justice John Marshall. He is my favorite lawyer because he helped establish the judicial review, which gave the Supreme Court the right to deem laws and actions unconstitutional.”
T Diebel is a senior at Saint James School in Montgomery. He has participated in the judicial program for two previous years, both as an attorney. He has participated in YIG since his freshman year and served last year on Gov. Noah McNelley’s Cabinet.
“My favorite legal figure would be Thurgood Marshall, because he broke racial barriers throughout his legal career.”
Aubrey Grant is an 18-year-old senior at Trinity Presbyterian School in Montgomery. This is his fourth year at Youth Judicial. He has been a witness and a lawyer. Last year, his team won second place defense team. He is also involved in Youth Legislature. He served as House floor leader at the 2016 conference.
“My favorite legal hero in history is Alexander Hamilton. He was a headstrong lawyer who never backed down and loved a good challenge.”
Kenya Harris is a 17-year-old senior at Spain Park High School. She has been a part of Alabama Youth in Government since she was a freshman. She has competed twice in the Judicial competition as an attorney. This is her second consecutive year as a judge. She also has participated in ALYIG’s Youth Legislative conference for three years. Earlier this year, she served as finance director in Gov. Noah McNelley’s Cabinet. “Thanks for reading all about me hope you all enjoy this year’s Youth Judicial conference!,” she said.
“My legal hero currently is our U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch. She is an exceptional role model for people of color as a federal office incumbent as well as an inspiration to the masses.”
Anne Harvey is a 17-year-old junior at UMS-Wright Preparatory School in Mobile. This is her third year to take part in the Youth Judicial program. “When I was a freshman, I was a witness in the Premier League; last year, I was an attorney in the Major League; and this year I will serve as a judge. I am excited to see what this year’s conference will bring!”
“My legal hero is my dad, Stephen Harvey. He works as a corporate lawyer at McDowell Knight Roedder & Sledge and is a member of the Mobile Bar Association. My dad is my legal hero because he is the most dedicated person I know. He works tirelessly to provide for my family, and over the course of the three years that I have taken part in this program, he has supported me and taken time out of his busy schedule to help me understand each case.”
Olla Jaraysi is an 18-year-old senior at Hoover High School in Birmingham. This is her fourth year in Judicial. Her first two years she was a witness, and the second year her team made Top Ten. Last year, she was a bailiff.
“My legal hero is Amal Clooney, because she works towards human rights and uses the law to support her. She is also not afraid to say what needs to be said to powerful people in order to get her message across. I also admire her because of her work in and with the United Nations, as I want to work in the UN as a career.”
Dexin Kong is a 17-year-old senior at Vestavia Hills High School. This is his second year in Youth Judicial. He previously served as a witness.
“Justice John Marshall established the power of judicial review. Without him, the Supreme Court we have today would be very different. He gave the judicial branch power by doing an unprecedented task. He paved the road for all other justices to strike down and uphold laws. Therefore, I admire him for his boldness to act in ways no man had acted before.”
Amelia Marques is a 17-year-old senior at Enterprise High School. This is her second year participating in Youth Judicial. Last year, she served as a bailiff for Judge Lyne Nguyen.
“Jim Barger is my legal hero because he is a close family friend, and the cases he has won are incredible. He has such an exciting life. In fact, he recently became part of the Law School Board at The University of Alabama.”
LydiaPaige Moffett is a 17-year-old senior at W.P, Davidson High School in Mobile, where she serves as president of her school’s Youth and Government programs. She has participated in Youth Judicial for three years. She has been a witness, an attorney and now is a judge. She has participated in Youth Legislature for three years as well. Last year, she was part of the Governor’s Cabinet, and for two consecutive years, she has been selected to attend the Conference on National Affairs. She also has been selected to be Mobile’s CLC delegation leader for the 2017 Christian Values Conference.
“My favorite legal hero is a senator from New Jersey named Cory Booker. I want to be a congresswoman someday, and he is very inspirational. As we all know, politics can be very unfair and stressful. He seems like one of the few politicians who is genuine and really cares about the betterment of his community and their success. That is the type of senator I aspire to be.”
Lyne Nguyen is a 17-year-old senior at Enterprise High School. “Go Cats!,” she said. This is her third year being involved with Judicial. She has served as a bailiff and a judge prior to this year.
“My favorite lawyer in history would have to be Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln’s 20-plus-year-long career as an attorney shaped him into a masterful politician. Considering that Lincoln later became one of the nation’s greatest president shows that determination and hard work pays off!”
Sam Nunn is a 17-year-old senior at Trinity Presbyterian School in Montgomery. This is his fourth year at Youth Judicial. He has been a bailiff, a judge and a lawyer. He also is involved in Youth Legislature, where he has served on Governors Cabinet.
“My favorite legal hero is Andrew Jackson. He was one of America toughest leaders and that inspires me every day.”
Griffin Payne is an 18-year-old senior at The Montgomery Academy. This is his fourth year participating the Judicial program. Previously, he has served as a witness and attorney. He has been involved in Youth in Government for five years. He served as a floor leader for Junior Youth Legislature, as House reading clerk and floor leader for the Youth Legislature and as a councilman and mayor for Youth in City.
“My legal hero is Chief Justice Earl Warren because of the social reform that occurred while he served as Chief Justice. His biggest decision as Chief Justice was the ruling on Brown v. Board of Education, which ended segregation in schools and has led to all students to participate together in events such as Youth in Government.”
Asna Poonawalla is a 17-year-old senior at Spain Park High School. This is her fourth year in Youth Judicial and she says, “The journey has definitely been a blast! In Youth Judicial, I have been an attorney, a witness and a judge.”
“My favorite legal hero is Clarence Darrow because he stood up for his beliefs and did not care about the opinions of others. He showed the world that in order to be a successful lawyer one does not have to compromise their beliefs. Rather if a lawyer fights for what they believe then they are more likely to succeed.”
Olivia Pride is a 16-year-old junior at Spain Park High School. This is her third year participating in the judicial program. She served as an attorney her freshmen year and her team earned the 2nd top plaintiff team title. She also served as a judge her sophomore year. This also is her third year in Youth in Government. She has served as the First Year Pro-Temp in Youth Legislature. Earlier this year, she was the Communications Director for Youth Gov. Noah McNelley’s Cabinet. She has attended the Conference on National Affairs in North Carolina for the past two years. She also attended the Christian Values Conference this past summer.
“My legal hero is Lisa Lee. She is an international attorney in D.C., and she works closely with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. She works with a team of attorneys to protect U.S. citizens when they commit a crime in a different country, and she goes after international criminals that attempt to find refuge in the United States. She is my legal hero because she is determined to exhibit excellence in everything she goes. Although she is a busy woman, she makes sure that her family is her first priority. Not only is she a magnificent legal mind, she is an amazing mother.”
Luckett Robinson is a 16-year-old junior at St. Paul’s Episcopal School in Mobile. This is his fourth year participating in Youth Judicial. He was a witness in his eighth grade year and served as an attorney the following two years. He has been a part of St. Paul’s Youth in Government program since eighth grade, and Judicial was his first conference. He will serve as House Speaker Pro Temp at Youth Legislature in February. “I’m pretty excited about it,” he said.
“My legal hero would have to be the Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall because of his solidifying of the judicial branch. Through his decision in the case Marbury vs. Madison, Marshall established the power of judicial review. He basically gave the Supreme Court the power to overturn legislation and executive orders, thereby creating a powerful check on the legislative and executive branches. He’s my hero because of his logical thinking and how he brilliantly empowered the third branch of our federal government.”
ANN VIVIAN SPENCER
Ann Vivian Spencer is a 17-year-old senior at The Montgomery Academy. This is her fourth year to participate in Youth Judicial and the Youth in Government program as a whole. In previous years, she has served as an attorney. She did the opening her first two years and the closing her junior year. She currently is chief of staff for Youth Gov. Ford Cleveland. She also served as a Supreme Court Justice for the 2016 Youth Legislature.
“My legal hero would be Frank Johnson, because he was known for changing the face of the South with his rulings to help end segregation; and because he was a judge in our own state of Alabama.”
Addison Smith is at 16-year-old junior at St. Paul’s Episcopal School in Mobile. He competed in Youth Judicial for two years, both years as an attorney. This is his first year serving as a judge. He is entering his third year in the Youth in Government program. In Youth Legislature, he served as First Year Floor Leader in 2015 and as Education Chair for the Governor’s Cabinet in 2016. In the summer of 2016, he attended the Conference on National Affairs as an Alabama delegate. He says he has “an uncontainable admiration” for the Youth in Government programs.
“Abraham Lincoln is my legal hero because of his endless determination. He was born into a family of struggling farmers. He worked tirelessly to become an attorney, and when he was finally granted the right to practice, he became one of the most well-known attorneys of his time. He took any case that was thrown his way, and he was truly formidable in the courtroom. His determination did not stop during his time as an attorney. He became the 16th president of the United States, and he became determined to end slavery. Abraham Lincoln has influenced me to be determined in everything that I decide to do.”
Kendall Ward is a 16-year-old junior at UMS-Wright in Mobile. She has been in the Youth Judicial program for three years. She has been a witness in the Major League, an attorney in the Premier League and now a judge. She is also an officer for in her school’s government club.
“Out of the many legal heroes I look up to, Bryan Stevenson would have to be at the top of my list. He is a man I hope to share characteristics with when I become a criminal justice lawyer one day. His book, Just Mercy, which I read recently, has been an eye opener that I strongly suggest to anyone. Not only is he a brilliant man, but a fair and just man who puts his all into his cases.”
Olivia Westfall is a 17-year-old senior at Vestavia Hills High School. She has been involved in the judicial program for three years as both a witness and a judge. She also has been involved in Youth Legislature for three years. She served as Director of Tourism and Travel for her junior year and will be Director of Legislative Affairs this year. She also participated as a delegate to the Conference on National Affairs this past summer.
“My legal hero would be James Madison, a founder and the primary framer of the U.S. Constitution. The Constitution is still the supreme law of the land, and Madison’s technical writing in both the Articles and the Bill of Rights proves he was an extremely knowledgeable man who left a legacy that will live on forever in America. Constitutionality is key in our justice system, and we have Madison to thank for our civil liberties being protected in the Bill of Rights.”
Talya Whyte is a 17-year-old senior at The Montgomery Academy. This is her fourth year in Youth Judicial. She was an attorney for two years, a judge for one year, and this year she is the Chief Justice. This is also is her fourth year participating in Youth and Government. She served as the Supreme Court Chief Justice last year at Youth Legislature. She also attended the Conference on National Affairs this past summer.
“My legal hero is Sandra Day O’Conner. She was the first woman to be appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court. She served on the court for 24 years. She is my legal hero because she opened the door for women to serve on the highest court in the United States. Her appointment marks a clear shift in women’s representation in the U.S. judicial branch.”