The grants will be used create a Young Ladies Leadership Class that will focus on leadership skills, healthy relationships, self-esteem, stress management, and addiction issues.
Teen Court acts as an early intervention for first time offenders by diverting them out of the traditional juvenile justice system. Defendants avoid a criminal record while still being held accountable for their actions. All functions of Teen Court are carried out by teens and for teens and sentences include jury duty, community service, counseling, and educational classes.
After noticing an increase in female offenders, Crystal Moreno, Santa Maria Teen Court Program Manager, wrote a plan for a program that would specifically address the underlying issues of female offenders. The program consists of weekly, hour-long classes taught by Teen Court staff. “The program didn’t have the funding to get off the ground until now. These grants have made the Ladies Leadership Class possible” said Moreno.
Santa Barbara Foundation’s North County Women’s Fund, a women’s giving circle, decided to dedicate this year’s giving to activities for youth and children. Judy Markline of the Women’s Fund commented, “We chose Teen Court as a grant recipient because it was clear that it has a lasting impact on the people it serves. We support their focus on education and leadership development for young women”. The Women’s Fund awarded six grants this year, the largest to Teen Court.
The SG Foundation, which focuses its giving on impoverished communities, decided to award $15,000 towards the Santa Maria Teen Court after learning about the economic make up of Teen Court offenders.
Both Women’s Fund and The SG Foundation presented checks to Santa Maria Teen Court staff on August 10th. The meeting was held at the Teen Court offices and included leaders from the law enforcement, judicial, and education communities.
Teen Court is a program of Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (CADA). CADA works throughout Santa Barbara County to provide substance abuse prevention, intervention, and treatment services. To learn more visit cadasb.org .