• July 7, 2020

Odessa Teen Court awards scholarships - Odessa American: News

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Odessa Teen Court awards scholarships

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Posted: Wednesday, May 27, 2020 2:27 pm

Odessa Teen Court awarded college scholarships to two graduating seniors, Erin Leah Cadena and Aliyah Hernandez.

Cadena has been an Odessa Teen Court volunteer attorney since September 2017 and Hernandez has been with the court since October 2018. Both graduated from Odessa Collegiate Academy.

Cadena wants to become a clinical psychologist and plans to attend New Mexico State University. She received $2,000.

Hernandez wants to become an architect and plans to attend University of Texas Permian Basin. She received $1,000.

The Odessa Teen Court scholarships are made possible by the donations of adult jurors from the City of Odessa and Ector County, as well as private donations to the account.

Adult jurors have the option of donating their juror fee, and the Odessa Teen Court board of directors then decide who will receive the scholarships annually based on the amount available, a news release said.

Odessa Teen Court’s volunteer teen attorneys are some of the most important parts of the program.

They act as prosecution, defense and bailiffs during teen trials. They learn to speak confidently in front of others, to argue both sides of the courtroom, and they also make contacts with adult attorneys from the community that volunteer as judges.

The release said: “Both Leah and Aliyah have been incredibly important to Odessa Teen Court over the last few years, and they will be missed dearly. They have been reliable, ambitious and a joy to have around. Their dedication and compassion are so impressive, and we cannot wait to see what is in store for their futures.”

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