Tiftickjian Law Firm is proud to announce the winner of our 2017 Juvenile Justice Scholarship. Brittany is a passionate and accomplished young woman who will use the scholarship funds to further her law education.
Brittany graduated from Louisiana State University with honors, having been on the Chancellor’s List and Dean’s list. She has also received a University of Pennsylvania Law School Dean’s List Scholarship, and she plans to use the Juvenile Justice Scholarship toward her studies at University of Pennsylvania.
Born and raised in Louisiana, Brittany has seen what some might call the worst of the juvenile justice system. She grew up on the banks of the Bayou in the southern part of the state, where each morning her school routine consisted of entering the facility through metal detectors. Sometimes, she had to raise her top to the assistant principal when a hair pin or other innocent object would set off the alarm, all to prove that she wasn’t carrying anything prohibited
Brittany’s observations that some students were treated more poorly than others raised red flags regarding racial and social injustices in the school environment. At this young age, she declared she would become involved in law and perhaps eventually be a judge, so she could right the wrongs she saw happening to her low-income schoolmates every day.
“So many of my family members and friends had gone to jail and prison over crimes that I, even before I was a teenager, felt did not warrant such severe punishment,” Brittany told us in her essay, which was included as part of her application for the Juvenile Justice Scholarship.
She recounted a time she remembers in high school, when her worn school uniform belt broke and her mother could not afford a new one until an upcoming pay period. Brittany was sent to “in-school suspension” for 7 days because she did not have the proper uniform. She feels that it’s these kinds of unfair punishments that begin to engrain ideas in kids’ heads that they’re “presumed guilty until proven innocent.” Brittany suggests these thoughts, like the idea that one is being “punished for the audacity to exist,” become a frame of reference for a child and may lead to a life of crime and imprisonment.
We look forward to helping Brittany demonstrate that many of our youth have received a poor lease on life and they deserve assistance, not incarceration. Brittany is a first generation college student, who is looking to play a positive role in examining what sorts of circumstances contribute to juvenile criminality.
About Tiftickjian Law Firm
Tiftickjian Law Firm created the annual Juvenile Justice Scholarship to help law students, like Brittany, further their education. The scholarship also helps raise awareness around the state of our criminal justice system as it relates to prison sentences and reduced rights for minors. With this financial support, we intend to make a positive impact in the careers of aspiring legal professionals who pursue justice for our country’s youth.