About Blount County youth court

BCYC History and Mission

The Blount County Youth Court was established as a Legacy project for the Leadership Blount class of 2013, and is established with the approval and under the guidance of Blount County Juvenile Court and Judge Kenlyn Foster. With the belief that all kids deserve a second chance, the Youth Court uses the principles of restorative justice, accountability, competency and community, to change lives in our community. The Youth Court is a teen-driven juvenile delinquency prevention/intervention diversion program with proven success.

Board Members

Lynn Peterson

I have been an attorney for over 30 years, and I can say that this powerful program really works. We get involved before poor decisions and the consequences of those decisions become irreparable. Using the power of positive peer pressure we help kids get back on track. I have seen this program work, and am honored to be part of it.

Alex Willard

“The Youth Court is powerful in many ways, but my favorite is peers giving peers the opportunity to write their wrongs. I serve with the Youth Court because I believe the process of peer-driven juvenile justice will enhance accountability and the education of individuals, families and communities for generations to come.”

Bonnie Lowery

“As an interim assistant principal and teacher of 20+ years, I visited the BCYC training in hopes of starting a peer mediation group at our school. The program’s positive impact not only for the offenders, but also for the jurors, spoke to the child advocate in me. I was so impressed with the philosophy, process, and success of this program, that I just had to get involved. Each day, I see BCYC changing lives and our community in powerful ways. I’m honored to be a part of it.”

Lisa Tuggle

“My name is Lisa Tuggle. I’m honored to serve on the board for BCYC. I’ve worked in the Maryville City School system for 22 years and believe this program is a tremendous opportunity for students to learn about the judicial system, learn leadership skills and make an impact on the community. The restorative justice model connecting juvenile respondents with the community and preventing re-offenses had been hugely successful. I’m excited to be a part of this process.”

Pat Mcgill

“I understand young adults are constantly being bombarded with a lot of different choices and just like Frost, “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I - I took the one less traveled by and that has made all the difference” - I want to try and give every child who starts down the wrong road, the opportunity to go down a better road. Because truly, it will make ‘all the difference’ to their future. My prayer is that they will become a better member of our community which in turn, gives us all a stronger and better community.”

Rosemary Garland

“Blount County Youth Court offers first-time juvenile offenders an opportunity to opt for restorative justice through a peer jury vs. the standard juvenile court system. This model has a proven success record and our community benefits from participating in it. Not only do our respondents benefit from the program, our peer jurors learn about the judicial process hands-on and have the opportunity to grow to leadership positions within the jury. It’s an honor for me to be part of the positive impact that Youth Court has made in our community.”

Rebecca Treadway

"Blount County Youth Court dynamically changes lives and communities. As a professor and a parent of a child who served as a juror on the BCYC, I am honored to serve on the Board; it is inspiring to work with the Board members. I want to help our youth. BCYC provides an exceptional opportunity of restorative justice for at-risk youth. Likewise, peer jurors gain compassion, understanding, and training in an unprecedented experience. I believe BCYC is an organization committed to doing good by doing right for our youth."

Alyssa Smith

"I was introduced to the Blount County Youth Court through the Chamber of Commerce. I was awed by the work, specifically the 25% difference in re-offenses through peer court vs. traditional juvenile court. It didn’t seem like the program was known about enough, so I serve with Youth Court to help grow awareness of the program for it to operate years to come."

Rachel Ponder

"Unprecedented times in the US and the justice system creates a new call for justice. BCYC brings justice attempts back to the community by focusing on building relationships and restoring lives through meaningful, thoughtful solutions to minor wrongdoings, creating purpose, confidence, and a sense of community for youth. This connectedness to community fosters positive relationships for positive futures."

The Blount County Youth Court, a program that operates as part of Tennessee Youth Courts, Inc., strives to have an open and affirming culture. We advocate for all youth. In compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, the Blount county Youth Court provides services to youth and their families who participate in a youth court program regardless of race, color, national origin, age, sex, religious preference, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, or disability. No one will be subjected to segregation or separate treatment in any manner related to receipt of services; restricted in any way in the enjoyment of services, facilities/venues, or any other advantage, privilege or benefit provided to others under the program; or addressed in a manner that is disrespectful because of race, color, sex, national origin, age, religious preference, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation or disability.