Robert W. Calvert American Inn of Court
Despite interference from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Robert W. Calvert American Inn of Court in Austin, Texas, continued its commitment to the Mentoring A Student (MAS) program at Travis High School. Ninety-six percent of Travis High School students are minorities and come from families with low income. Many Travis students are the first in their families to earn high school diplomas. Judge Raul A. Gonzalez leads the program. As the Travis County justice of the peace for the precinct that includes the school, Gonzalez has a special rapport with the students. He leads a team of Inn members who meet with students in the school’s criminal justice class each month. The students are interested in a wide variety of careers in the justice system, from law enforcement to becoming attorneys and judges. This year the class explored scooter laws, immigration, and the U.S. women’s soccer lawsuit for equal pay. Each year one class is devoted to “adulting” skills such as navigating driving laws, renting an apartment, using credit cards, and voting.
For the past seven years, the Inn has organized a mock trial to culminate the year. This year’s mock trial was canceled due to the pandemic, but that did not stop the Inn from raising a record $4,000 for scholarships. The generosity of Inn members funded four $1,000 scholarships for deserving students. Despite the unique challenges seniors faced this year, one recipient said, “I am so thankful and excited for the opportunity this scholarship has given me! I promise that I will reach my full academic potential with this scholarship.” The Inn is looking forward to the continued success of the program.