The editors of PEOPLE magazine recently selected St. Louis Juvenile Court Judge Jimmie Edwards as one of the publication’s “Heroes of the Year” for 2011. Judge Edwards was profiled in a recent issue of the magazine and the announcement was again featured in their November 7, 2011 issue.
In 2010, Judge Edwards received the Bar Foundation’s coveted Spirit of Justice Award for the same accomplishment that PEOPLE magazine recognized. “We chose men and women who reached across boundaries to help strangers or worked within their communities to deepen bonds. From Logan, Utah…to Judge Jimmie Edwards of St. Louis who started a school for wayward teens, the 2011 winners never let daunting odds stand in their
way,” said Managing Editor Larry Hackett.
In 2009, after watching a string of teen offenders come through his courtroom, Judge Edwards took action. Along with 45 community partners, he took over an abandoned school and opened the Innovative Concept Academy. Providing strict discipline, counseling and programs like chess, music and creative writing, the center has changed the lives of many young people, giving them the opportunity to graduate from high school and lead successful lives.
Judge Edwards and the other five winners will each receive $10,000 to use for their causes. The Academy will use the money for a new arts and drama program at the school.
“I am thrilled that our school has received this recognition but also amazed at the other individuals across America profiled by the magazine,” said Judge Edwards.
The editors of PEOPLE selected five ‘heroes,’ and a sixth was chosen by readers’ votes.