Pizza and pop joined ranks with pomp and paperwork Friday (July 29, 2016) as the Caddo Parish District Attorney bade farewell to a group of young students who served this summer as interns, helping assistant district attorneys and staff in the day-to-day work of justice and Caddo District Court.
“We always want to encourage young people and give them the opportunity to see how things work, so they know what they want to do in the future,” said Caddo Parish District Attorney James E. Stewart Sr., who initiated the program. The intern program allows them to be introduced to the legal system “as productive participants,” he said.
The 11 summer interns started in May and closed out their service Friday with Johnny’s Pizza and soft drinks in the DA’s conference room after posing for photos with Stewart in the Caddo Parish Court House courtroom of Stewart’s niece, Caddo District Judge Karelia Stewart.
“This is the first time we’ve had an intern program,” Judge Karelia Stewart said, noting she thought it was a great way for the students to see the justice system at work.
“I think it’s a good deal,” she said. “It allowed them to see the justice system close up. For instance, we did a women’s section Continuing Legal Education program, and one of the interns taking part came and watched it and said she enjoyed it. It was good for them to get up-close exposure to what takes place in the court system.”
Captain Shreve High sophomore Taylor Caldwell, 16 and the daughter of Shreveport City Marshal Charlie Caldwell, served in the Juvenile division, and enjoyed the work, as well as time with the staff.
“They took me to lunch a lot,” she said.
Magnet High senior Makayla Weston, 17, worked in the pre-trial division, and hopes to go into forensic criminal investigation when she moves to college.
“I liked everything I did here,” she said.
Lauren Lee, 20 and a student at LSU Shreveport, is majoring in cellular and molecular biology, but spent the summer working in screening, where DA staff determines the severity of possible charges that can be pursued against suspects.
“I honestly enjoyed everything, but I especially liked going to trials,” she said.
In addition to Caldwell, Weston and Lee, interns on hand Friday were Blaise Antoniou, 17, Caddo Magnet High; Christopher Braggs, 18, Southern University-Baton Rouge; Jessica Davis, 22, Southern University-Baton Rouge; and Jasmine Davis, 16, Byrd High School.
Several interns already have left to pursue their studies of avail themselves of life opportunities and could not make the final day party. Not on hand were Macy Davis, Kristina Douglas, Jared Lee and Iesha Wells.