OpenDoors Laureate Acceptance Speech
By Martin Moore
I want to start by saying thank you as well. It means a great deal that I have the opportunity to be here tonight and even more that I can receive this honor for doing work that already means so much to me.
Like Ms. Fair stated, as public defenders, we advocate for those who otherwise would not be able to afford an attorney. By now, I’m sure we have more than enough examples of what adult courts look like, but what about the juvenile system? The underlying goals/priorities are still the same: advocacy, guidance, and achieving the best results we can for our clients. Also, like adult clients, many of these young men and women face difficult home lives and difficult life circumstances. That said, there’s something unique about juvenile advocacy. Each one of these young men and women are still in the process of figuring what they want to be, what they CAN be. Despite their challenges, there’s an underlying current of hope in my interactions with them. So each meeting or court date, advocacy remains about connecting rather than judging and believing that each one of them may only be one opportunity, one mentor, or counselor away from changing their life path for the better.
And that is a big part of why I appreciate this event and the work that Open Doors continues to do in our community. Advocacy, guidance, and support beyond the court room are essential. Stability, education, and positive role models can make all the difference.
Thank you all for this honor and thank you for your continued efforts in supporting our community.