Justice encourages students, reaches out to community

Kelly Tunney

Ohio Supreme Court Justice Yvette McGee Brown stopped at the Portage County Prosecutor’s Office Saturday to talk to members of the community.

Brown gave a short speech focused on providing people with a face to represent the justice system.

“People need to see us and touch us and know that we’re real,” Brown said. “Because who makes decisions about the state? The third branch of government.”

Brown also talked about the effect of education on children’s lives. She said it is the most important tool they can possess.

“It’s education that’s the game changer,” she said. “If they really want to have something in life, it’s just about preparing yourself for the opportunities that are there and not being afraid to take risks.”

Brown is responsible for creation of the Center for Child and Advocacy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, which provides services for families dealing with abuse.

Brown said she was thankful to be involved with the hospital and to be able to build an all-inclusive facility from the ground up.

“It’s just an amazing place to be because everything that a family needs is there, it’s comfortable and it’s child friendly,” Brown said. “It was the joy of my life.”

Brown said she was raised by a single mother who worked two jobs to keep her family alive. She said her mother is the reason she works so hard for the community and why she is in the position she is in.

Dominique Cheney, freshman vocal performance music major, said she was inspired by Brown’s history.

“I thought it was interesting that most of the strong people in our country right now, even Justice Brown and Obama, they both started low, and now they are at the top,” she said. “It’s amazing.”

In an interview after her speech, Brown said it is important for people to see they can be involved in the court system.

“We are the third branch of government and I think it’s important for young people to see that being on the Supreme Court is an attainable goal for them,” Brown said. “I really want more people thinking about public service and looking at the high court as a place they can see themselves.”