PbS > News > Celebration and Surprise: The 2019 CJCA and PbS Awards Night

Celebration and Surprise: The 2019 CJCA and PbS Awards Night

The 2019 CJCA and PbS Awards Night on August 2 came back to Boston, the hometown of both organizations, for the second time in three years. As attendees filtered into the grand ballroom of the Boston Marriott Copley Place hotel in Boston’s Back Bay, that sense of hometown pride could be felt from the buzz and energy of so many juvenile justice leaders coming together to recognize, support and celebrate each other and the work they do every day. PbS Executive Director Kim Godfrey and CJCA Executive Director Mike Dempsey reinforced that energy with their opening remarks, welcoming attendees to the Awards Night and emphasizing the continued commitment to collaboration held by both organizations.

After the welcome, the night’s festivities kicked off with the PbS Kids Got Talent Group Performance winning video, submitted by four talented youths from Ferris School in Delaware. They wrote, performed and directed an entire music video from start to finish, including beats, lyrics and camerawork. It was an incredible entry, and in one of the night’s many surprises the youths from Ferris School took to the stage to reprise their award-winning performance in person.

The night’s awards continued with an acknowledgement of the nine finalists for the PbS Barbara Allen-Hagen Award, which is given to a correction, detention/assessment and community program who best exemplify PbS’ commitment to treating all youths as one of our own. The Barbara Allen-Hagen Award was created in 2007 and is the source of another of PbS’ guiding principles, as Kim Godfrey said on stage: “Good, better, best, never let it rest, until your good is better and your better is best!” The first Barbara Allen-Hagen Award winner was then announced, with the other two winners following throughout the night: Stevenson House Detention Center from the Delaware Division of Youth Rehabilitative Services in the detention category, Luther Hall from the North Dakota Division of Juvenile Services was the community residential winner, and Green Hill School from Washington State Juvenile Rehabilitation took home the award for the correction category. For the fourth year in a row a video was shown for each winner, featuring interviews from facility staff and youths describing the many improvements being celebrated on stage.

The CJCA President’s Award was presented to Simon Gonsoulin, Principal Researcher with American Institutes for Research. Simon Gonsoulin has been an active member of the CJCA Facility Director/Superintendent Training Program helping to develop and make this new meeting a great success. He has been involved with numerous committees and presentations as well as partnering with CJCA on numerous grant projects over the past 15 years. A mentor and friend to many CJCA members, he received a well-deserved congratulations from all in attendance.

CJCA also presented the 2019 Edward J. Loughran Outstanding Leadership Award to John Larivee, President and Chief Executive Officer of Community Resources for Justice (CRJ). This award is presented to an individual who has shown extraordinary leadership in any capacity in the juvenile justice field and is committed to improving the lives of youths. It is named after Ned Loughran, CJCA’s founding Executive Director who was an advocate without equal for children, youths and families involved in the juvenile justice system and the leaders who served them. Under John Larivee’s leadership, CRJ developed a continuum of care in Massachusetts in the 1990s. John Larivee also pushed CRJ’s Crime and Justice Institute (CJI) to aggressively pursue opportunities outside of Massachusetts to keep justice-involved young people out of juvenile facilities across the country. As one colleague said, “Any place where there was an opportunity to promote promising practices to enhance healthy youth development to reach the goal of long term public safety, John was there.”

PbS also announced the establishment of the new PbS Education and Employment Foundation, a 501(c)3 public charity committed to supporting justice-involved youths as they return to their communities by providing funding to help youths achieve their education and employment goals. The Foundation was launched to respond to increasing numbers of applications for PbS’ three annual education and employment awards, the winners of which were also announced at the Awards Night: the Scholarship Award for youths and staff to further post-secondary education, the Employment Matching Award for youths employed over the summer and the Reentry Award to ease the overall transition from placement to community living, education and/or employment. In another surprise of the night, the Foundation received its first donation in the amount of $500 from Stephen Kaplan, a former justice-involved youth who had received the PbS Scholarship and Employment Matching Award in recent years and who has since received a master’s degree in global supply chain management. Stephen appeared in the room via video to thank the group for all of the amazing work they do to support youths. It was a truly moving message and Stephen’s success story brought tears to the eyes of more than a few people in attendance!

Finally, as has become tradition, the night’s festivities continued with the Kids Got Talent Finalist Montage, a collection of all of this year’s amazing talent contest finalists and winners, followed by the always-anticipated Kids Got Talent performance! A youth from Maricopa County Juvenile Detention Center- Durango in Arizona, took to the stage and sang a beautiful original song. All in attendance could feel his passion for music and for the stage, and thanked him with an overwhelming standing ovation as his song closed out. Making the night’s finale even more emotional were the loudest and proudest cheers in the room, coming from his mother who award night attendees were lucky to share the night with!

A warm congratulations to all finalists and award winners, and a heartfelt thanks from CJCA and PbS goes out to all who came together in celebrating the incredible and uplifting work done every day by the youths and staff involved in juvenile justice!

2019 Barbara Allen-Hagen Winners

2019 Barbara Allen-Hagen Winners

Simon Gonsoulin accepts the CJCA President's Award

Simon Gonsoulin accepts the CJCA President's Award

The 2019 Kids Got Talent Performer takes the stage

The 2019 Kids Got Talent Performer takes the stage

Monday, August 12, 2019 at 5:26 PM