Arlington Career Center | 816 S. Walter Reed St. | Arlington, VA | 22204

ACC Chronicle

ACC Chronicle

Arlington Career Center | 816 S. Walter Reed St. | Arlington, VA | 22204

ACC Chronicle

Groundbreaking
School News
Groundbreaking
Bella Weslow, Staff Reporter • June 12, 2024

On May 16th, 2024, a monumental event occurred for the students and staff of the Arlington Career Center. At 2 pm, students and teachers left...

Latinas Leading Tomorrow at ACC
Clubs & Extras
Latinas Leading Tomorrow at ACC
Lary Renderos, Guest Reporter • June 12, 2024

Let’s zoom into the bustling hive of activity that is ACC (let's throw some props to our extracurricular buffet: from frisbee to D&D, there's...

Op Ed: A Call for Accelerated Learning in APS
Op Ed
Op Ed: A Call for Accelerated Learning in APS
Joseph Sparks, Guest Reporter • June 12, 2024

Dear Arlington Public Schools, As I prepare to begin my education at Princeton University next fall, I often look back and consider the impact...

Op Ed: Let’s Expand Restorative Justice in Virginia
Op Ed
Op Ed: Let’s Expand Restorative Justice in Virginia
Zack Dabrowski, Staff Reporter • June 12, 2024

Dear Barbara A. Favola, In one month, I will have graduated from high school and be ready for the next stage of my life. When I look back...

Acme Pie Company
Community & Beyond
Acme Pie Company
Zack Dabrowski, Staff Reporter • June 12, 2024

Acme Pie Co., located barely a block from the school, is one of the only pie shops within Arlington - and it’s also the best. Walking towards...

Op Ed: Let’s Expand Restorative Justice in Virginia

Op+Ed%3A+Let%E2%80%99s+Expand+Restorative+Justice+in+Virginia

Dear Barbara A. Favola,

In one month, I will have graduated from high school and be ready for the next stage of my life. When I look back on my life so far, I notice how much I have changed. Though I may look back and see a drastic difference, this change did not happen in a snap; slowly and surely I have built myself into the man I know today. Lord knows I have made my mistakes—some more lawful than others—yet I always had a safety net beneath me with my parents and close friends. I was surrounded by good influences yet even I was not free from sin. As a kid, it is almost my societal duty to make mistakes, to learn, to grow, all to ensure that I am ready for adulthood. Yet how can a kid make mistakes and grow if the full weight of the law is breathing down their neck?

At a local nonprofit where I intern, my fellow peers and I, work as a Youth Peer Court (YPC) ambassador. As an ambassador, it is my job to help youths through restorative justice practices and ensure that kids do not end up in the juvenile justice system for a minor mistake, ensuring that one action will not become an incident they will regret for the rest of their childhood. While I have seen kids not understand the gravity or treat this opportunity as a given, I would rather a youth take this chance for granted than fall into the preschool-to-prison pipeline. This is bolstered by the fact that a youth has never reentered the program after leaving, these sorts of programs work and work well. Kids are not hateful beings, they may be immature and young, but they are not full of malice. Kids simply reflect the environment they are in and as Fredrick Douglas said: “It is easier to build strong children than to fix broken men.” Giving youths a second chance now means that a sixth or seventh chance is not needed when they are adults.

Unfortunately, these sorts of programs are only local and not offered state or nation wide. With your support, we could create one of the first state-wide, state-funded restorative justice programs. These programs have been shown to work within local communities, and it is time to bring the entire state into this success. With your support, Virginia can become a leader in youth justice, a state which allows its kids to actually be kids, not just young adults. Young people are the future, it is time that we treat them as such.

About the Contributor
Zack Dabrowski
Zack Dabrowski, Staff Reporter
Zack is a senior at The Arlington Career Center who is earning a general education associates degree at NOVA. He’s interested in pursuing a degree in anthropology and political science. He is currently a representative on the Student Advisory Board and a member of the Senior Committee. He is also currently interning at the Center for Youth and Family Advocacy.