Two teen volunteers within the Sarpy County Attorney’s office were praised for their work ethic and service during the Sarpy County Board Meeting on Tuesday, June 20, when each received a $500 scholarship.
Lauren Dolson of Omaha and Cassie Albino of La Vista were nominated for the scholarships, funded by the Sheriff’s Office Foundation, for their volunteer work with the Teen Court program.
Volunteers, such as Dolson and Albino, serve as a jury member or a defending or prosecuting attorney in the diversion program. Defendants are first-time, juvenile-status law violators who have admitted to their offense and are judged by their peers (volunteers), rather than go through juvenile or county court.
Dolson, an Elkhorn South High School graduate, and Albino, a Papillion La Vista High School graduate, both volunteered with the Teen Court program for five years.
They will be eligible to receive a second $500 scholarship upon receiving a GPA of at least 3.0 after their first semesters of college.
“Teen volunteers make a difference in the lives of their peers and the community. Lauren and Cassie took that responsibility seriously and went above and beyond to consistently give back. We're grateful for their time and service and thrilled to recognize their hard work,” Chief Deputy Sarpy County Attorney Bonnie Moore said.
Leonard Matthias, who coordinates the Sarpy County Teen Court program, said Dolson’s volunteer hours have made a positive impact in the community: She helped educate teens on the dangers of using drugs and alcohol, coached them to find responsible ways to resolve disputes and mentored other volunteers in the program.
She volunteered 82 hours.
“I found my confidence in the courtroom,” Dolson said. “To find my voice, help kids and make an impact in the community is a special thing to do at a young age.”
Dolson will attend the University of Miami in Florida in the fall and plans to major in both psychology and exercise physiology.
Albino volunteered 92 hours with the program.
Matthias said Albino is adaptable, persistent in her pursuit of excellence and never rattled in stressful situations – she requested complicated cases, took on leadership roles within the program and helped participants reevaluate their behavior.
Albino will attend Chadron State College in Chadron, Nebraska, in the fall and plans to major in rangeland wildlife management.
From left to right: Sarpy County Commissioner Jim Warren, volunteer Cassie Albino, Commissioner Don Kelly, volunteer Lauren Dolson, Teen Court coordinator Leonard Matthias, Chief Deputy Sarpy County Attorney Bonnie Moore, Commissioners Angi Burmeister, Gary Mixan and David Klug.
Interested in Volunteering?
Sarpy County is looking for Teen Court volunteers, ages 13-18, who:
- Want to help others
- Have parental permission to participate
- Can attend one training session that occurs 30 minutes before each Teen Court
- Can take an oath to maintain strict confidentiality
For more details, visit liftupsarpycounty.org/teencourt and contact Teen Court Coordinator Leonard Matthias at (402) 593-2207 or email@example.com.
About Sarpy County
Sarpy County is the fastest-growing county in the state of Nebraska, attracting new residents, visitors, businesses and jobs each year. Sarpy County is home to the cities of Bellevue, Papillion, La Vista, Gretna and Springfield, as well as Offutt Air Force Base. In less than 20 minutes, you can travel from the vibrant urban centers to beautiful outdoor recreational areas and activities. More information is available at Sarpy.gov.