Students advocate for justice

Contact: Lisa Eschleman, 614-485-3510

COLUMBUS (May 8, 2013) – It’s not every day you hear from middle school student activists who are working to solve problems such as animal abuse, bullying, domestic violence, homelessness and teen pregnancy.  However, that was the scene at the Riffe Center in downtown Columbus on Tues., May 7, when more than 150 Ohio students took part in the 19th annual Youth for Justice Summit, a program of the Ohio Center for Law-Related Education. 

“These Youth for Justice students are tackling real world problems,” said OCLRE Executive Director Lisa Eschleman. “Domestic violence is not an easy topic for adults to solve, yet we have a group of eighth graders who developed ways to address this issue.” 

Youth for Justice is designed to empower youth to be actively engaged citizens who work together to make a positive difference in their community. Students identify a problem relevant to them, then develop and implement solutions.

Summit project evaluators selected the following teams, out of a total of 18 participating teams, to receive Outstanding Project Awards:

  • Fighting Bullying, Greensview Elementary School (Upper Arlington)
  • Relax, Refresh, Respect, Pleasant Street Elementary (Mt. Vernon)
  • Domestic Violence, St. Francis School (Cleveland)
  • Positive Role Models, Heritage Middle School (East Cleveland)

Youth for Justice has a positive impact statewide and includes teams from urban, suburban and rural areas. The following schools were represented at the  2013 Summit: Botkins Elementary School (Botkins); Collinwood High School (Cleveland);  Greensview Elementary (Upper Arlington); Heritage Middle School (East Cleveland); Leaves of Learning (Cincinnati); Pleasant Street Elementary (Mt. Vernon); Ripley Union Lewis Huntington Middle School (Aberdeen);  St. Cecilia School (Columbus); St. Francis School (Cleveland).

“It is rewarding to empower young students and watch as they make incredible differences in their communities,” said Eschleman.

As one former Youth for Justice participant stated, “There are problems that youth can solve.”


Youth for Justice, a program of the Ohio Center for Law-Related Education, is financially assisted by the Ohio State Bar Foundation. The following companies generously donated to the 2013 Youth for Justice Summit: Balloons Across the River, Giant Eagle, Huffman’s Market, Pizza Hut, Target and Wal-Mart.

Ohio Center for Law-Related Education (OCLRE) is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization whose goal is to improve society by developing citizens empowered with an understanding of our democratic system. OCLRE is sponsored by the Supreme Court of Ohio, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, the Ohio State Bar Association and the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio Foundation. For more information on OCLRE, please call (877) 485-3510 or visit




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