Raising the Bar Program Holds Second Session

The second session of the court-sponsored pilot program for area high school students entitled “Raising the Bar” is taking place today. Akron Municipal Court Judge David Hamilton, along with Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro’s Office, launched this program last month.

Raising the Bar has a mission to introduce more minorities to a career in law and give exposure to various career opportunities in the legal profession.

Statistics supporting the need for this program include:

Selected juniors and seniors at Akron Public Schools’ Buchtel CLC will be part of the pilot program. This program is funded through My Brother’s Keeper.

Today’s agenda features notable speakers including City of Akron Chief Prosecutor Craig Morgan and local Attorneys Edward Gilbert, Walter Madison, Eddie Sipplen, Dezerae Albert and Kandee Robinson. Heart to Heart Leadership will also have representatives sharing information with the students.

The third and final session for this cohort will be held on Thursday, December 8, 2022 and a completion ceremony is slated for Wednesday, December 14, 2022 where family and friends of the graduates will be invited to celebrate their accomplishment.

The program’s curriculum includes interactive materials containing team building activities, critical thinking and deductive reasoning lessons and other valuable tools to identify each student’s strengths and how those values can be shared in a professional environment.

Upon completion, the students will earn community service hours and hours of service that will count toward the requirement for their college and career pathway.

Judge David Hamilton created the court-sponsored Compassion, Opportunity, Mentoring, Purpose, Assistance, Survival, Stepping forward (COMPASS) Program in November 2020 for males who are high risk to reoffend. COMPASS provides an alternative to jail and offers resources including trauma therapy, counseling, formal mentorship, financial literacy and vocational services.


Judge David Hamilton

Judge David Hamilton

A photo from the October 27 session of "Raising the Bar"

A photo from the October 27 session of "Raising the Bar"