Parents, Educators/Teachers & Students in Action
• Araksya Nordikyan is a first-generation, third-year college student at USC who is motivated by her family’s sacrifice, her love for learning and her desire to become an asset to her community. She is currently pursuing a major in Philosophy, Politics and Law, with a minor in Education, in hopes of later earning her juris doctor degree and serving in elected office. Realizing her passion for advocacy, law and education, she joined the Teen Court Program her freshman year at Ulysses S. Grant High School and hasn’t stopped contributing since. The best part of Araksya’s days is when she serves as the Director of Youth Services for PESA and President of the Teen Court Alumni Association. She is determined to help defend the innocent, support human rights and voice her concern for the oppressed.
• James Malis is a political science major at Los Angeles Valley College and plans on getting a graduate degree in foreign relations. James has been part of the Teen Court Program since he was in the 10th grade. He had originally decided to join his school's teen court for extra credit, but going to teen court inspired him and gave him a new interest in law. This interest persisted after he graduated, so when he learned about the Teen Court Alumni Association he jumped at the opportunity to help the program that he loved in high school. James has always had a love for politics and plans to eventually run for public office so he can give back to his community. James also takes leadership roles when possible, and always tries to lead through example. When working with other he always tries to be as supportive as possible and makes sure everyone is able to have their ideas heard. Doing this allows him to find the best solutions to problems that make everyone happy with the outcome.
• Nataly Kemdjian started participating in the teen court program during her at Ulysses S. Grant Senior High school and thanks to that opportunity, she discovered her love of law and the judicial process. Now Nataly is a political science major at Los Angeles Pierce College and will transfer to a university in California. She hopes to be elected into office one day and become an advocate for women, minorities, homeless and immigrants. Nataly tends to get passionate about her beliefs and political opinions which leads to her success when debating political issues. Due to the Teen Court Alumni Association, she has been offered a head start for her journey to bettering the world by starting with its youth. Nataly believes in the cliché that children are our future and it is important to set them on the right track and give them opportunities to better themselves. People feel comfortable around Nataly because of her amazing smile and welcoming personality and she has proven that she becomes a better and more powerful person every day.
• Marek Jansin is a freshman at Los Angeles Pierce College. He started to get involved with Teen Court as a senior at Taft Charter High School and soon developed a passion for it. He became fascinated with being a juror and helping delinquent teens reform and better themselves. After hearing about the Teen Court Alumni organization he was thrilled to be given the opportunity to continue his service even after graduation from Taft. He is now able to help troubled teens throughout the San Fernando Valley and get involved with many projects on a local and county level. Though this is his first year at Pierce College as a full time student, Marek accumulated 26 college units while in High School primarily in Business. He hoped to transfer to USC as a Business Marketing major. Being a first generation immigrant, Marek brings a lot of diversity and understanding to the teen court process. He is very passionate about correcting youth bullying and delinquency especially towards immigrants and people of varying races.
• Sarah, Srbuhi Shahbazyan is a second year college student at Los Angeles Valley College. She is planning to transfer to get her bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and further her education to law school to become a Human Rights Lawyer in order to help fight against human trafficking. She first became involved with the Teen Court Program in her junior year at Ulysses S. Grant High School and immediately loved being a juror and helping give kids a second chance to better themselves and learn from their mistakes. She believes that in order to make the world a kinder, safer and overall better place, we first need to make sure that our youth are on the right track. After graduating high school she was offered a chance to become part of the Teen Court Alumni Association and instantly ceased the opportunity. Srbuhi's sensitivity to people's emotions combined with her willingness to help guide kids is what makes thrive in the program. As she continues to work alongside PESA, she realizes just how important it is to give kids a second chance.
• Isso Avetisyan's passion for helping at-risk youth led her to work for PESA. She is a strong believer in using one's strengths to benefit others, and she seeks to do so for the youth involved with the Teen Court Program. She hopes to use the determination she has to see the youth in our community succeed, to effectively encourage those who are involved with the program. Isso's favorite part about her job is presenting teenagers with an alternative option which does not include a criminal record, such as getting involved with academic and volunteer opportunities. Her ability to empathize with youth, as well as her heart for rehabilitation, make her an important addition to PESA. Her goal is to supply kids, who see little opportunity for future success, with hope for their future.
• Lucy Boyadzhyan is a second year college student at CSUN pursing her bachelors in Business Law to then continue her education at law school and become an attorney. She first began the Teen Court Program her sophomore year at Ulysses S. Grant Senior High. After three years of witnessing and participating, her love for law developed so once an opportunity was given to join the Teen Court Alumni Association, she quickly joined. While working alongside PESA, Lucy realized how important it was to keep today's youth educated. She learned there's no such thing as too many chances when it comes to righting your wrongs and is passionate about keeping education alive within her community. Lucy brings humor and a good judge of character when she walks into a room so she can see the potential in any given person even if they can't see it in themselves. People enjoy Lucy's sense of humor and the fact that there is always a goal in her mind, whether it's big or small she will conquer it all.
• Rosie Avetisyan is a second year college student at Los Angeles Valley College. She is planning to transfer to University of Southern California to continue her path in law. She first became involved in Teen Court as a junior while attending Ulysses S. Grant High School. At first, she would simply attend and observe the cases but as senior year approached she became more involved and ultimately became a juror. Immediately her passion for law flourished as she was able to allow alternatives to individuals before a juvenile sentencing and that is something she felt was vital to communities. Once the opportunity was given to join the Teen Court Alumni Association to continue aiding individuals in shaping their lives, she could not pass. Rosie's determination and hard work are unmatched, once a goal is set she will do anything in her power to reach it. Recognizing everyone's ideas and inputs has helped her build connections to many individuals, although they may not feel comfortable talking about certain things, a comfort zone is established with Rosie's help.