On Thursday, May 3, 2012, for the fourth year, City of Opa-locka Vice Mayor Dorothy “Dottie” Johnson was invited to serve as a facilitator at the Annual Miami- Dade County Teen Court Youth Speaking Out against Violence Conference from 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Doubletree Hotel, 711 N.W. 72nd Avenue Miami, Florida 33126.
Sponsored by Miami-Dade Economic Advocacy Trust (MDEAT), the Teen Court conference is part of the ongoing mission of Miami-Dade County Teen Court (M-DCTC), a peer sanctioning program that allows youth to address FACE-to-FACE the rise of violence in their neighborhoods, schools, and community. Utilizing speakers and workshops, the message of the conference seeks to address violence issues and the future of youth, as well as emphasizing the importance of giving voice to young people, while affording them an opportunity to provide input to help reduce the continuance of violent acts community-wide. The program also fosters a healthy exchange between youth and police, as they collaborate to offer ways to address violence.
Participating in the conference, to improve their decision making skills were more than 200 students from Senior High Schools including Booker T. Washington, Dr. Michael Krop, Homestead, Miami Carol City, Miami Central, Miami Norland, Miami Southridge, North Miami, Miami Northwestern and South Dade. Additional participants included Madison, Miami Edison and Nautilus Middle Schools.
In addition to Vice Mayor Johnson, the Honorable Audrey M. Edmonson, Commissioner District 3, addressed the students in the morning to kick-off the conference. The Teen Court’s keynote conference speaker, Veraunda I. Jackson, Esquire and author of “Behind The Scenes: A Teenager’s Guide to Starring in a Successful Life,” amazed the audience, as she captivated them with her motivational skills.
Lunch was provided for each participant at the conference.