Teen Court of Sarasota, Inc. offers a second chance for students who have been referred for minor legal infractions. The organization provides students, ages 8-18, with educational youth development activities designed to meet the specific needs of at-risk youth as well as student volunteers. Case managers provide the tools for clients — including access to free mental health services — to be successful so they feel encouraged and motivated to move on with law-abiding behavior without their records being tarnished. Visit sarasotateencourt.org.
Venice High School
Darnell enjoys speaking with Dr. Collins, and this is the first counseling experience which he has not resisted attending. He is communicating more with me instead of shutting down or exploding in anger. He seems to be respecting my boundaries and not pushing back against the rules at home. I am also proud of how well Darnell is doing in school. He has not had any additional behavioral issues since he began counseling. We have also been able to have difficult conversations about Darnell’s father, which I had been dreading talking about. He now understands addiction runs in our family and he is no longer using marijuana to cope with his anger. Counseling has been such a blessing to our family.
Sarasota High School
I came to Teen Court for being in possession of a dab pen. When I had my Teen Court interview, I failed my drug test for marijuana. I admitted that I smoke marijuana as a coping mechanism. Mr. Chavez referred me to Dr. Collins for counseling. After seeing Dr. Collins, I found healthier coping mechanisms. I was able to complete Teen Court and I passed all my drug tests during my time there, ultimately receiving a successful completion letter. I see Mr. Chavez on campus at times and I am proud to say that I am no longer smoking marijuana.
North Port High School
When I first came to Teen Court, I was extremely anxious and reserved. I had a lot of built-up anger as well as trust issues towards people. One day, while I was at home with my mom, we got into an argument. She yelled at me and I became so frustrated and angry that I physically attacked her. I punched her in the back of her shoulder and later law enforcement was called and I received a civil citation. In the past, it would be very difficult for me to control my actions. Due to the counseling I received through Teen Court, I made tremendous positive changes in my behavior. I maintain a good attitude, even when presented with obstacles. Counseling has really benefited me.
Booker High School
My name is Chris and I’m sophomore at Booker High School. I was sent to Teen Court on a school referral for a fight. I was fighting because my co-defendant was bullying me. I have a speech impairment that I haven’t been able to overcome. I get very angry when someone makes fun of it and it’s been this way my entire life. Instead of Teen Court putting me on the stand for defending myself, we decided that it would be best for me to go to counseling so that I could gain tools that would empower me to overcome my impairment, instead of feeling humiliated in front of my peers. Since I started counseling, I’ve become more confident in myself. I speak up during class and when I’m around others. I also have better self-control when I get angry. Mr. Bradley has really helped me cope with my emotions when it comes to dealing with others’ opinions. So far, I’ve really enjoyed counseling.