A Georgia judge’s harsh yet heartfelt speech to a group of more than a dozen troubled teens has gone viral.
Bibb County Superior Court Judge Verda Colvin addressed the group of students as part of the Bibb County Sheriff’s Department program “Consider the Consequences,” which gives teens heading down a destructive path a look into what life is like in the prison system, according to a video from KTLA 5 in Atlanta.
“Be somebody. Anybody can do nothing,” she told the teens . “The only person stopping you is you.”
Colvin, who said she didn’t know her speech was being taped by someone in the back of the courtroom, brought the teens to tears as she called on them to, “Do better. Be better.”
She challenged the group not to use socioeconomic status as an excuse for criminal behavior and assured each person they had something to offer the world.
“Don’t use your family situation as an excuse to not go to college,” she said. “I grew up with a single mother below the poverty level and I didn’t use that as a reason to not go to college.
“If you don’t want to go to college, get a skill. You have to do something.”
Two boys were slow to raise their hands when Colvin asked if they group all thought they were worth more than nothing, so Colvin leaned down eye-to-eye with the boys and said: “You are special. You are uniquely made. Nobody else can do what you’re supposed to do in this world. Nobody else.”
Check out her full speech. It’s a must-watch.