Today, in the Great Hall at the Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein awarded Assistant United States Attorneys Lindsay Griffin and Jennifer Corinis with the Attorney General's Volunteer Award for Community Service for the Lockhart Lunch Buddies Program.
AUSAs Griffin and Corinis identified a need at a struggling Tampa elementary school that serves students with little family structure or support. In partnership with the school’s guidance counselor, social worker, and school administrators, the two AUSAs invited some of their colleagues to have lunch with students, just to be listening ears. This morphed into the highly effective Lunch Buddies Program at Lockhart Elementary Magnet school. Participation has grown from 2 AUSAs and 2 Lockhart students in September 2015, to currently more than 50 volunteers mentoring 110 students each week. Volunteers from the following organizations regularly participate: United States Attorney’s Office, Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, U.S. Marshals Service, Tampa Police Department, HUD Office of Inspector General, Federal Public Defender’s Office, the local state appellate court, and private practice attorneys.
The program has evolved to include other outside activities including field trips to the Tampa federal courthouse where the Lockhart students have participated in mock trials and toured the facility with the United States Marshals Service.
In May 2016, the Hillsborough County Public School system awarded its prestigious annual Partners in Education Award to the United States Attorney’s Office for its role in creating the Lockhart Lunch Buddies Program.
The USAO is proud of the vision, community spirit, and commitment of AUSAs Griffin and Corinis for creating Lockhart Lunch Buddies and for representing the office at today’s 31st Annual Attorney General's Volunteer Awards.