"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader." John Quincy Adams
As we look back over the 2012-13 mock trial season, we at the CCCE are grateful for the leadership of over 100 teacher coaches and attorney advisors who inspired our youth to "dream more, learn more, do more and become more." Over 550 high school students were given the opportunity to learn about the law by participating in mock trial, benefiting from the leadership of their team advisors as they developed leadership skills themselves. Listen to the words of several more students who describe their experiences in the mock trial program:
"[As team captain in my junior year,] I learned that in order to be a good leader, I had to listen, and I had to trust. Leadership always looked so glamorous to me that I failed to realize that the job is more about how willing you are to place yourself on the same level as those whom you expect to follow your guidance. This year I was again the captain, and I learned something entirely new. I had to learn how to back out and let [the rising team captains] carry themselves through some practices and be there to catch them, instead of being there to hold their hands. I learned that a delicate balance exists in leadership, and when the fear is one of how to continue without a familiar leader, words of encouragement, pride, and compassion will go much farther than any actions. In two years I learned the power of words, and the power of position, and that kindness spurs a greater reaction than I could have ever imagined." Team captain, Gray Stone Day School
"I was born deaf. It took me many years of training to develop the ability to speak and understand language. Before I signed up to be on the mock trial team in the fall of 2011, I had very little experience in public speaking, and virtually no knowledge of the legal system.
"From my experiences in the mock trial program, I have learned not only legal principles and procedures, but also public speaking, analytical thinking, and persuasive argument skills. My participation in mock trial has helped me strengthen my confidence in speaking in front of others and increased my teamwork skills. It has challenged me to test my limits and go beyond my comfort zone. During my two years of the mock trial competition, I have learned to stand up for what I believe in and make a passionate argument on behalf of another.
"Another important lesson I learned is that mistakes will happen in a trial, as they will in life; and that if you make a mistake, fix it and move on. No one is perfect and everyone will make mistakes, but how you react to those mistakes will define you. The experiences I had in mock trial will influence me for the rest of my life." Team captain, Cary High School
"Through [four years of mock trial], I learned to be a better communicator, a better team player, and, most importantly of all, a better citizen of this great country. As the President of the Mock Trial Club during my senior year, I sought to instill the same passion in those who looked up to me as I had gained through my participation in this competition; passion not only for competing, but for being inquisitive, innovative, thoughtful, respectful and, above all, professional. Mock Trial, my attorney advisors, and my teacher advisor all made me a more humble, intelligent, and responsible leader and, more importantly, a good human being. Through their tutelage I became inspired to learn and thus to lead. Truly leadership and learning are indispensable to each other ~ John F. Kennedy." Team captain, Enloe High School
Thank you to the teacher coaches and attorney advisors who are involved in the important work of creating our future leaders. As the students above attest, your investment makes a tremendous impact!