Deaf & Hard of Hearing High School Students Experience an Inspiring Field Trip to the Federal Courthouse

Collage of three images: the first image is of three male actors, the other two images each show a female with flowers.
From a personalized tour to meeting a deaf Legal Interpreter to sitting down with the Honorable Judge Angel Kelley, our students had a day packed full of learning and empowerment.

An Unforgettable Visit with the Honorable Judge Angel Kelley

Recently, the high school students of CAPS Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) program embarked on an unforgettable field trip to the John Joseph Moakley U.S. Courthouse in Boston. With the help of a special connection, students had the opportunity to explore the remarkable story and architecture of the building, learn about their rights and responsibilities as deaf and hard of hearing members of society, and meet an inspiring role model who triumphed over adversity.

The trip was made even more special because it was facilitated by Courtroom Clerk, Miguel Lara, relative of DHH Guidance Counselor, Andrea Koenig. After a warm welcome, he gave the group a full tour of the courthouse, explaining how the building was carefully designed with symbolism in every detail. From the awe-inspiring wall of glass overlooking the harbor, allowing the public to see all eight courtrooms, to the intricate details within, Miguel explained how architectural design choices can communicate powerful messages.

The personalized tour was followed by an empowering discussion about the rights and responsibilities of deaf and hard of hearing individuals in society. They gained valuable insights into the legal system and the vital role they play in it. They also had the opportunity to remotely connect with a professional Legal Interpreter who is deaf herself. Sharing her first-hand experiences and background, she shed light on the crucial work she does within the court system.

While the group thoroughly enjoyed the entire day, the highlight was getting to spend time with the Honorable Judge Angel Kelley. Meeting this remarkable woman of color in a position of power served as compelling inspiration, showing students that they too can overcome obstacles and achieve their dreams. She provided them with a unique perspective, encouraged self-advocacy, and fostered a deeper understanding of their rights.

This field trip to the Federal courthouse is sure to leave a lasting impact on our students. Through meeting inspiring individuals who have achieved great success against all odds, these students were empowered to break barriers and forge their own path towards a future filled with possibilities.