Taking Time for Our Youth

Judges need to be connected to the communities they serve while also contributing to the public’s knowledge and understanding of how the court system works.  Judge Laura is dedicated to being an ambassador of the courts, particularly in terms of connecting with local youth.

This work began in 2016 when Judge Laura hosted student groups who were participating in mock trials.  Later, she invited students from the Sedro-Woolley Boys and Girls Club to visit the courthouse and learn more about careers in law after hearing the Youth of the Year award winner speak about her dream of becoming a lawyer.  It takes time to build up a successful outreach program, but the momentum has grown over this last year.

 

In February, Judge Laura presented to Cub Scouts in Mount Vernon who were earning badges on citizenship and the law.  She visited Burlington-Edison High School for career day in March, speaking on legal careers and running mock trial exercises with students.  At the end of April and early May, she hosted two afternoons of mock trial competitions between four home school student groups ranging from Anacortes and Mount Vernon to Stanwood and Oak Harbor.  She finished the school year with a trip to the Sedro-Woolley Boys and Girls Club to talk to club members about her career path and answer their many questions ranging from what judges do to her favorite Star Wars movie (which is clearly “The Empire Strikes Back.”)

Now that school is back in session, Judge Laura heeded the call from the Washington State Supreme Court to participate in Constitution Day.  September 17th is recognized and celebrated as Constitution Day, with statewide efforts to pair judges with classrooms to improve civics educations and people’s relationships with the courts.  Judge Laura went to Edison Elementary on September 17th to talk to the fourth grade about the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, what judges do, and how to solve a legal problem together.  She visited the 10th grade AVID class at Sedro-Woolley High School on September 26th to give a similar presentation that was more appropriate for their grade level, while also answering questions about different career paths.

In addition to her continued service as President of the Madison Elementary Parent Teacher Organization, Judge Laura has more student outreach lined up for after the election.  While court business is always a priority, enhancing the public’s understanding of the law is an important component of her judicial service.  The kids are also a lot of fun!

 

In addition to student groups, Judge Laura spoke to the Mount Vernon Kiwanis in September about therapeutic courts, which include Drug Court, Family Treatment Court, and Mental Health Court.  She also presented in 2016 to the Burlington Rotary about courts in Skagit County and to Leadership Skagit about her leadership journey.  She is becoming active in the judicial associations, recently being a presenter and panelist at the September judicial conference on best practices for how courts interact with juveniles and their parents or guardians who speak limited English.  She will teach a class about interpreters in the courts to a conference of attorneys in Mount Vernon.

As much as outreach to adult groups is important, Judge Laura plans to continue focusing her efforts on students.  It’s where she believes her message is needed most.  It might be cliché, but the children really are our future.

 

“A judge should be connected with the community she serves. I will continue to be an active and involved member of Skagit County, staying in touch with people from all walks of life… This outreach, which will continue after Election Day, has broadened my perspective on public perception of the courts and helped shape young people’s understanding of what happens in court.” – Judge Laura Riquelme

It's official! I was sworn in this afternoon to the term to which I was elected. I am honored to have your support and will do my best to live up to the trust you have put in me. Videos are in the comments. ... See MoreSee Less

Its official! I was sworn in this afternoon to the term to which I was elected. I am honored to have your support and will do my best to live up to the trust you have put in me. Videos are in the comments.

 

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In case anyone is really interested, here are two videos my husband shot during and immediately following the ceremony.

I should have added this as well. We had a great crowd (someone counted 98 people) for what I initially hoped would be a small, private ceremony.

What an encouraging example of community engagement with a rewarding result. Thank you, Judge Laura, for all your hard work and dedication to strong, humane leadership. Thank you to thousands of voters who noticed.

Sorry I missed this one but so glad Richard took the video and you shared it.

Congratulations! So happy to have the pleasure to work with you!

Sad I missed it! Had to teach. A wonderful photo, and an amazing thing for our county that you’re here serving 🙂 thanks Judge Riquelme! 🙂

I wish we could have been there to celebrate with you, so proud of you and the way you ran your campaign. Congratulations, Judge Riquelme!

Congratulations! Honored to know such a strong, inspiring person!

So proud of you and your campaign. You will be so great. Thanks for your service.

Sorry I missed it. Really wanted to be there. Great work Laura.

Congratulations! I knew you had this! So happy for you

Congratulations so happy about this🤗

Laura - congratulations. SO glad for your commitment to justice in our community. Wish I could have been more actively involved. I was out of town until last night.

And I was honored to be there! Congrats, Judge!

Fantastic! You will do such a good job....they are fortunate to have you, Laura!

Congratulations Judge Riquelme!!

Congrats Judge Riquelme.

Bravo Laura Quelle grande et belle mission Je te félicite et t'embrasse

Congrats Laura so happy for you and our community!!!!

Congrats!

Congrats!!

Estoy tan feliz muchas felicidades 😊😘

Hooray!!! Congratulations, Laura!

Congratulations!

Congratulations, Laura!

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