Sponsored by the Foundation of the Federal Bar Association

2017-2018 National Community Outreach Project Recaps

El Paso Chapter- National Community Outreach Project – Court Camp Program
Our Court Camp Program was held on April 30, 2018. We held the event at the Federal Courthouse. We partnered with Putnam Elementary School and welcomed 26 students from to the courthouse. The students were part of a 4th/5th grade class. We had 10 FBA volunteers engaged.

Upon arrival, the students were given an introduction by Michael Whyte (AUSA and Board Member). Students were given an opportunity to ask questions about the federal process and the proceedings that they were about to watch.

The students were then split into two groups for the court watch portion of the morning. One group went to view proceedings before Magistrate Judge Miguel Torres and the other group went to view proceedings before District Judge Philip Martinez. The students were addressed by the judges and were also spoken to by the court interpreter and a criminal defense attorney. The students were allowed to use the court interpreter’s audio equipment during the proceedings.

After court watching was completed, the students were given presentations by additional speakers: Richard Esper (criminal defense attorney); Rita Velez (Courtroom Deputy for Judge Torres); Chuy Lowenberg from Customs and Border Protection OPR; Rebecca Reyes (criminal defense attorney); Omar Flores (Border Patrol liaison to the AUSA’s office); and a Court Security Officer. The students were also given a tour of the Control Room in the courthouse. The students were provided to a pizza lunch. Then, they returned to their school.

This project met our goals. In the future, we would like to consider making it a larger project to potentially have a second class of students participate.

We spent the funds on obtaining transportation for the students to and from the Courthouse, providing lunch to the students, and obtaining thank you cards for our speakers. We are currently in the process of obtaining the receipts from the event. We will be returning any unused funds to National as soon as possible.

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