The Marin County Office of the Public Defender, in collaboration with the Marin County Office of Education and six other county agencies, is presenting a free skill-building forum for transitional youths (ages 18-24), high school seniors, parents and guardians on April 10 at the Marin County Civic Center.
The workshop, set for 6-8 p.m. at the Board of Supervisors chambers, will feature timely advice from the offices of the District Attorney, Probation, Public Defender, Sheriff-Coroner, Health and Human Services, Board of Supervisors and the Superintendent of Schools. They key message: The legal responsibilities of adulthood can be a wake-up call.
“Most young people have no idea of the legal responsibilities they take on as they turn 18,” said Marin County Public Defender Jose Varela. “Whether it’s driver license, credit or even criminal court liability, most young people often ask, ‘Why didn’t someone tell me about this?’” Varela said. The training session is meant to answer that question, he added.
Lisa Schwartz, Director of the Safe Schools and Prevention Programs at the Marin County Office of Education, said workshops on the subject have been held locally in the past but not with such a collaborative effort.
“It’s an exciting opportunity because we’re all pulling together to make the workshop valuable and informative,” Schwartz said. “We think parents who are getting ready to send kids to college will appreciate hearing from leaders with this expertise in one place. There are things parents need to be thinking about now rather than after the teens move out.”
Making mistakes at 17 often does not lead to life-altering consequences, but that changes when a teen turns 18, Schwartz said.
“Jose and his attorneys have worked with kids who have lost scholarships, even to Ivy League colleges, through misconduct of some sort, even online misconduct,” she said. “Tragically, we have some families whose children have lost their lives. That fact drives our intention to help families avoid these outcomes. We want all of our young people to stay happy and healthy.”
The Board of Supervisors chambers are at 3501 Civic Center Drive, Room 330, one floor below the Civic Center Library.