Teen Court Board
- 3:45 p.m.
- 4th Wednesday of each month
- City Hall
270 S River Avenue
Holland, MI 49423
Duane Baker, Holland Christian Liaison
Ramon Soto-Lopez, Ottawa County Sheriff's Office
Lena DelReal, Member-at-Large
Mark Geister, Holland High Liaison
Shawna Baum, Ottawa County Court
Larry Matzen, Holland Police Department
Veronica Salazar, Member-at-Large
Derek Dalman, Member-at-Large
Vern Helder, Teen Court Coordinator
Connor Carillo, Student Representative
Diamante Balcazar, Student Representative
Tracy Hernandez, Member-at-Large
Damian Hernandez, Member-at-Large
Joe Soto, Holland Public Safety
Esther Fifelski, Director, Human Relations Department, City of Holland
Holland Teen Court (HTC) was founded in 1991, when Holland City officials and citizens had a vision to launch a Youth Justice System that would empower young people to be leaders in their community. Holland Teen Court was designed to provide youth with the necessary tools to demonstrate the power they have, individually and collectively, to influence others and make positive changes in their own lives and in their community.
This vision was shared with:
- City and county law enforcement agencies
- City, county and state government officials
- The Chamber of Commerce
- Members of the Ottawa County Bar Association
- County and District court officials
- Clubs and agencies with a vested interest in the community
- Holland area school officials
The shared vision and "Army" of Teen Court volunteers continue to empower young and not-so-young people as we enter the 21st Century.
Through the involvement of volunteers and defendants in the HTC program, youth have dispelled the misconception that adolescents are incapable of being responsible, being accountable for their wrongdoing, making appropriate decisions, or handling any type of independence.
It is hoped that the Holland Teen Court will interrupt developing patterns of criminal behavior by promoting feelings of self-esteem, motivation for self-improvement, and development of a healthy attitude toward authority. HTC challenges youth to perform at their highest level of ability. It places a high priority on educating young people regarding their responsibilities as individuals, family members and citizens.
We invite you to explore the variety of information and resources found on this Holland Teen Court website and encourage you to share your own experiences with Teen Court/Youth Court programs. Any feedback is welcome as we continue to learn daily from one another.
Teen Court began in 1991 as a way to provide 1st time offenders from the City of Holland a chance to avoid a juvenile criminal record by being tried by their peers.