CHARLESTON — On April 25, 2013, United States Attorney Booth Goodwin recognized 56 high school juniors as U.S. Attorney’s Ambassadors for Justice during an afternoon ceremony at the Culture Center in Charleston.
The U.S. Attorney’s Ambassadors for Justice program is an initiative led by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia. It honors high school juniors who have shown outstanding leadership skills and a commitment to social justice.
The April 25 ceremony marked the second time U.S. Attorney Goodwin has recognized young leaders from high schools in the Southern District of West Virginia as Ambassadors for Justice.
“I am very pleased to honor the second class of high school juniors from throughout the Southern District as my Ambassadors for Justice,” U.S. Attorney Goodwin said. “These 56 students have each demonstrated a powerful ethical compass. They’ve exemplified tremendous leadership.”
Goodwin continued, “Their ideas and perspectives are invaluable. These are students who are willing to step forward and do something if one of their peers makes a self-destructive decision or bullies someone else.”
Goodwin said that his office is deeply concerned about problems facing young people in his district. “This isn’t just an award or a title. This is an ongoing mission for me, my office, our schools, our communities, and for each of these Ambassadors for Justice, so that together we can exert positive influences in our schools and communities,” said Goodwin.
The U.S. Attorney’s Ambassadors for Justice program was created by U.S. Attorney Goodwin last year in response to rising school bullying and social media threats involving young people. The program was also spurred by a February 2012 school shooting at Chardon High School in Chardon, Ohio, in which a student opened fire on his classmates, killing three and wounding two others. Other episodes involving planned violent attacks by young people that were prevented due to the swift actions of students and school Prevention Resource Officers here in the Southern District of West Virginia have also encouraged U.S. Attorney Goodwin’s initiative.
Nominations to be U.S. Attorney’s Ambassadors for Justice are made by school principals and administrative leaders. Goodwin said that outstanding character, devotion to citizenship, and a commitment to serving others are fundamentals for nomination.
This year, 56 out of 59 high schools in the 23-county Southern District of West Virginia nominated outstanding students to be Ambassadors for Justice.
The 2013 U.S. Attorney’s Ambassadors for Justice representing Boone County are as follows (by student name/high school):
• Boone County: Sydney Burdette, Sherman High School; Haleigh Foxx, Van Jr./Sr. High School; and Kendyl Ryan, Scott High School (No photograph available).