Durham, NC — Youth Justice Project Co-Director Ricky Watson Jr. recently graduated from the prestigious National Juvenile Justice Network’s Youth Leadership Institute. Watson is one of ten fellows chosen from all over the country for his commitment to youth justice in North Carolina.
“Together, they learn about juvenile justice system structures and reform needs, effective advocacy and organizing techniques, and are paired with mentors in the field. In the course of the year, they form peer learning and support groups, and complete an advocacy project in which they apply their skills in practical ways on behalf of youth in trouble with the law,” stated a description on the Network’s website.
Watson’s advocacy project included the effort to Raise the Age of Juvenile Jurisdiction in North Carolina, an ultimately successful endeavor to end the practice of charging 16- and 17-year-olds as adults in North Carolina. He was involved in leading legislative efforts and educational events across the state.
“My view of myself as a leader has changed. The work is really about kids that look like us and I feel like there is a little more strength and appreciation for the fact that I’m not doing the work alone,” said Watson of the fellowship.
The Southern Coalition for Social Justice congratulates Ricky on this great accomplishment.
To learn more about the fellowship, click here.