The Prince William County Bar Association recently honored nine outstanding youth at the annual Beat the Odds (BTO) Banquet and Award Ceremony. These children and young adults came in contact with the local juvenile justice system due to abuse, neglect, or otherwise difficult living environments that made it impossible for them to develop and thrive. And yet they excelled, socially and academically, because of the intervention of the caring individuals they came in contact with through intervening programs like New Horizons, New Directions, guidance counselors, social workers or the Juvenile Courts. According to Patrick V. Foltz, Esq., President of the Prince William County Bar Foundation, which is the source of funding for this and other programs, “The BTO Banquet is designed to show the full support of the community that surrounds these amazing youth, with not only our presence but also our gifts in the form of scholarships for those ready to graduate from high school, and lap top computers for those who are underclassmen.”
This year’s honorees will attend Coastal Carolina University, Germanna Community College, Virginia Commonwealth University or join the U.S. Air Force in the fall, all with the help of a $2,000 scholarship from the PWC Bar Foundation. They want to pursue careers in nursing, social work, psychology, computer science and the law, and are genuinely excited about the opportunities before them, versus the road behind them. As long as they keep moving forward, the Bar Foundation will continue to support their educational goals.
A special guest, Mary Mazinga, was a 2007 BTO Scholarship winner who graduated from George Mason University in 2012 with a degree in social work. She now works with autistic youth. She attended the banquet to celebrate with this year’s honorees, and served as a shining example of the possibilities available to these outstanding youth.
For more information about this and other community service programs sponsored by the PWC Bar Association, visit them online at pwcba.org.
By Prince William Living