Alli Banks and Matthew Thomas, both members of the Rowan County Senior High School Student Y Club, may have thought that their work with the Y Club judicial team was over at the close of the Kentucky Youth Assembly (KYA) in November 2012. The two just recently found out that their work as members of a judicial team will continue. Alli Banks and Matthew Thomas have both been selected to be two of only ten Kentucky high school students to participate in the YMCA National Judicial Program.
At KYA, both Banks and Thomas served on a judicial team where, as lawyers, they were presented with a real court case to argue in front of a set of justices. While the experience was intense for both Banks and Thomas, the two kept their cool and won their case. At the end of the 2012 Kentucky Youth Assembly, Alli Banks was selected to serve as a justice at the 2013 KYA and Matthew Thomas was named Outstanding Judicial Advocate and will serve as Attorney General at the next KYA.
Alli Banks, daughter of Paul and Rhonda Banks, and Matthew Thomas, son of John and Jill Thomas, were among the twenty high school students invited to apply for the YMCA National Judicial Program. Of the twenty Kentucky high school students who applied, only ten were selected for the prestigious judicial experience. In July 2013, The ten Kentucky students will join high school students from across the nation in Chicago, Illinois for Youth in Government’s National Court Competition, which is held in partnership with the American Bar Association. Banks and Thomas will compete in either Mock Trial or Appellate Court cases.
Both Alli and Matthew are looking forward to their National Judicial Team experience this summer. They both will be able to use the experience that they gained at the 2012 Kentucky Youth Assembly to help them this summer.
Matthew, who has plans on becoming a lawyer, spoke of the hours of studying that will be required to prepare for the national competition. “We’ll have to study case files so that when we stand up to make our case, we will be able to cite those cases in a split second.”
“I’m not really interested in becoming a lawyer, but this whole experience really opened my eyes. There’s a lot more to law than just standing up and arguing. There’s a lot of reading and preparation.”
The advisors of the RCSHS Student Y Club, Kristen and James Hood, were understandably proud of Alli Banks and Matthew Banks. “There are only ten students from the entire state of Kentucky that are selected for this program. Two of the ten – one-fifth of the entire Kentucky team – are from Rowan County! We are so proud of them.”