Monday, May 17, 2010

QUEST Celebration


This afternoon Queens Family Court hosted a celebration of our QUEST program -- Queens Engagement Strategies for Teens. Aside from a small moment of panic at the start (three of the principal speakers were late in arriving due to traffic), the event was a big success. New York State Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman delivered the keynote address, placing QUEST in the context of a statewide vision of juvenile justice reform that includes closing placement facilities and transferring responsibility for juvenile probation in New York to the judiciary. In addition, Gladys Carrion (the head of the New York State Office of Children and Family Services) and Vincent Schiraldi (the NYC Commissioner of Probation) spoke about how we need more alternative programs like QUEST throughout the City and State. Although all of the endorsements from officialdom were nice, the best part of the program was the testimonials from parents whose children had had life-changing experiences in QUEST. Two mothers and one dad spoke movingly about their gratitude to Dave and Carol and the rest of the team at QUEST -- a gratitude that I most definitely share.