by Kayla Scullion
For some Springside Chestnut Hill Academy students, education doesn’t stop in June. Finn Seifert, a junior this fall at SCH, spent three weeks this summer at the University of Pennsylvania attending an introductory program to law.
Seifert said it all began with his interest in the criminal justice system and its relationship to addiction.
“As I learned more about these two topics, I became aware of how intertwined they were,” he said. “There was a fairly recent documentary called 13th by Ava DuVernay that showed the racial injustices in the criminal justice system that got me very interested and passionate about changing the system.”
Seifert’s interests soon grew into a project within the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership program at SCH where he is researching a plan to transform the way our prison system treats addiction. After being recommended to the summer program at Penn Law by Ed Glassman, Director of the CEL, Seifert applied, interviewed, and was one of two students awarded The Steele Entrepreneurship Fund – a prestigious grant provided by Margaret Steele to cover expenses for a summer entrepreneurship course, camp, or unpaid internship.
“I am incredibly thankful to Mrs. Steele for giving me this opportunity,” Seifert said. “My favorite part was seeing how law school would really be if I decide to go. We did a moot court exercise in which we presented and argued cases in front of judges and engaged in litigation that was designed to show what a hearing would be like at the appellate court level. This was very fun as I learned more about crafting an argument and thinking on my feet when judges would ask questions.”
With several field trips to real court cases, national museums, and the state department under his belt, Seifert is excited to return to his project and develop a plan that tackles the injustices head on.
“I learned an incredible amount at Penn Law,” Seifert said. “I am excited to apply my basic understanding of the United States legal system and figure out how a plan to transform the criminal justice system could work effectively.”
Kayla Scullion is a Communications & Marketing Specialist at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy.