Attorney General Hosts Inaugural OAG Awards Ceremony Honoring At-Risk Youth Making Positive Impacts

OAG Using New Methods to Reduce Recidivism and Create Positive Relationships with District Juveniles

Washington, DC – Attorney General Karl A. Racine yesterday hosted the inaugural ceremony for the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) Right Direction Awards. The ceremony formally recognized District of Columbia at-risk youth who have chosen positive paths and serve as role models to their peers.

Yesterday’s ceremony, which took place in the OAG Moot Court Room, recognized 23 DC youth and young adults and was attended by the families and supporters of the awardees, elected officials, agency representatives, and representatives from local non-profit organizations that work with juveniles.  Mayor Muriel Bowser, who joined Attorney General Racine in presenting the awards, encouraged awardees to continue working to make a difference in their communities, saying “Tonight, we celebrate these young people who are working hard, getting a good education and improving their future. My Administration is focused on creating pathways to the middle class for all of our youth, across all eight wards.” Also in attendance was Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services Director Clinton Lacey, Child and Family Services Agency Director Raymond Davidson, and Brigadier General Renwick Payne, Adjutant General of the District of Columbia National Guard.

OAG collaborated with the following other agencies that interact with at-risk youth to help select the honorees:

  •  Metropolitan Police Department
  •  Department of Parks and Recreation
  •  Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services 
  •  Child and Family Services Agency
  • District of Columbia National Guard

“As the office responsible for prosecuting District of Columbia juveniles who may have made poor choices in the past, I believe it is important to highlight and support those who have turned their lives around.  By honoring these youth, we are encouraging them to remain on the right path and to be role models to other youth.” Attorney General Racine said, “This is both public safety and positive reinforcement at their best, and I am grateful to other agencies and elected officials for their support of this important inaugural event.”

An awardee of note was Kenneil Cole, Attorney General Racine’s current summer intern.  Cole, a former Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services committed youth, wrote to Racine requesting an internship opportunity. Cole, a graduate of Ballou High School, is a rising junior at Delaware State University.  Attorney General Racine said that Cole is “an outstanding intern who serves as a clear example that, with guidance and mentoring, many of our youth can achieve their dreams.”

Racine also thanked his Community Outreach Team, Robert White, Lateefah Williams, Christian Franco, and Trayon White, and Special Projects Officer, Marta Markowska, who coordinated the event.