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J.U.S.T. L.A.W. Essay Contest Winners Recognized

From the City of Rochester

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Mayor Malik D. Evans yesterday joined N.Y. State Supreme Court Justice William K. Taylor, RCSD Superintendent Dr. Lesli Myers-Small, and other officials at the Hall of Justice to recognize the 12 students who were selected as the 2021-2022 J.U.S.T. L.A.W. Essay Contest winners.

Justice, Understanding, Societal Trust and Literacy, Attendance, Writing (J.U.S.T. L.A.W) is a collaborative effort between the City, the 7th Judicial District, radio station 103.9 FM WDKX, the Rochester Black Bar Association, and the Rochester City School District that provides an opportunity for 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th graders to interface with judges and other court about the U.S. legal system.

J.U.S.T. L.A.W. kicked off its fourth year of working with students in February 2022.

Over the course of the program, judges from the 7th Judicial District visited 16 RCSD schools to present information on how the justice system works and the role it plays in the community.

Students then had the opportunity to share their own perspectives and experiences with the justice system, fostering important dialogue between court officials and participating youth.

Following the school presentations, students were asked to write a 250-word essay on the topic, “What Justice Means to Me.” More than 100 essays were judged by the J.U.S.T. L.A.W. executive committee members, and the top 12 essays were selected as the winners. The program selected 12 winners to mirror the jury selection process and the 12 jurors who play a critical role in the outcome of a trial.

During the ceremony, each of the 12 honorees recited their winning essays for the attendees including parents, school principals, judges, and Hall of Justice employees. As part of their awards package, each student received special certificates, an Amazon Fire HD8 tablet, a check for $103.90, and a J.U.S.T. L.A.W. Medal of Honor from the Rochester City School District.

The 2021-2022 J.U.S.T. L.A.W. student winners are:

Amari Pugh from Dr. Alice Holloway School #3, 8th grade

Bishop Ashe from Dr. Charles T. Lunsford School #19, 8th grade

Eric Seitzinger, Jr. from Wilson Foundation Academy 6th grade

India Williams from Dr. Charles T. Lunsford School #19, 8th grade

Janiah Gray from Dr. Alice Holloway School #3, 7th grade

Koryne Fell from Dr. Alice Holloway School #3, 8th grade

Maya Adams from ast Lower School 8th grade

Nesean Jones from Dr. Charles T. Lunsford School #19, 8th grade

Romena Gurung from Dr. Charles T. Lunsford School #19,

Tayia Demps from Francis Parker School #23 6th grade

Tenney Murphy from School of the Arts, 7th grade

Zahir Cerami from Francis Parker School #23, 6th grade

For more information on the Just Law program, visit