Adam Maldonado, Alameda County District Attorney’s Office
Bringing together attorney volunteers, judges, and teenagers from public high schools across San Francisco, BASF has once again united the legal community with the successful completion of its 2015 Mock Trial competition. Each season, attorney volunteers donate their evenings and weekends with the goal of helping young people achieve their potentials.
This year, I was asked by the graduating seniors at the Academy High School – many of whom were mock trial participants – to deliver the commencement address at their graduation. I had no idea that, through this experience, I would observe the genuine impact our efforts as coaches have on our youth, long after mock trial is over.
I heard from countless teachers and parents who watched in amazement as the confidence, focus, and public-speaking skills of their teenagers improved dramatically as a result of mock trial. When asked what he will take away from the program, graduating senior Fabian Alvarez relayed that “mock trial taught me not to be afraid of making mistakes. I knew that there were tons of people out there who would catch me if I fell.” Delivering the valedictorian speech at her graduation, Elsa Grandvionet spoke of the “mock trial family” that existed within her graduating class, and that through this family, she “found confidence” in herself.
Rewarding for both its participating volunteers and high school students, mock trial continues to serve proudly as one of BASF’s most community-enriching programs.
Visit www.sfbar.org/mocktrial to learn more about the program.