When Diamond becomes President of the United States, she says she will tell everyone where her career started.
“I’ll say Teen Court. This is the real deal, real people and real cases.”
City and town judges refer non-violent youthful offenders to the peer sentencing program after the teen admits guilt in a traditional courtroom. In front of a sitting judge, jury of their peers and youth attorneys, a defendant may receive a sentence of community service, letter of apology, essay, counseling or workshop training at The Center for Youth.
Diamond, 16, has volunteered with Teen Court since 2013, first as a juror and later as a youth attorney.
“I like being able to talk to defendants and hear what they’re going through and being able to help redirect them," she says. "A lot of times defendants don’t understand what they should because they lack resources or the training in the home isn’t there. They’re not exposed to the way the world really works. They don’t know the judicial system.”
The goal of the program is to ensure a young person's first encounter with the judicial system is their last. Teen Court gives defendants a chance to learn from their mistakes.
For volunteers like Diamond, the program provides a different opportunity. She is getting a hands-on experience where she is learning about the judicial process, the roles of judges, attorneys and other courtroom personnel, public speaking skills and courtroom terminology.
Teen Court has set Diamond on a well-thought-out career path.
“I always knew I would (be an attorney)," she says. "I didn’t know I’d be able to do it now.”
She has plans to become a lawyer, then a family court judge and, eventually, President of the United States.
"If I were President, I would incorporate this program everywhere."