More than a dozen students housed in Maryland Juvenile Services facilities are headed for the state's highest court - not as defendants but as competitors in a speech contest.
The 19th annual event Wednesday at the Maryland Court of Appeals in Annapolis is sponsored by the state departments of juvenile services and education.
The 13 contestants are delivering 3-to-5-minute speeches they wrote themselves.
This year's theme is "The Equipment I Need to Succeed,'' based on a poem by the English-born American poet Edgar Albert Guest.
Court of Appeals Judge Clayton Greene Jr. says the event offers the contestants a chance to interact with the courts in a positive way and have their voices heard at the highest level.
The winners receive first, second and third-place trophies.