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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of West Virginia

Friday, March 8, 2013

Federal Officials Speak To Alban Elementary School Students About Making Responsible Decisions

U.S. Attorney Goodwin, U.S. Marshal Foster say Alban’s service learning club builds student character and strong communities

ST. ALBANS, W.Va. – United States Attorney Booth Goodwin and U.S. Marshal John D. Foster today met with students from Alban Elementary School in St. Albans, W.Va. to discuss the importance of making responsible decisions.  Goodwin and Foster also commended the 44 students for their participation in a service learning project known as The Success Club at Alban Elementary.       

The Success Club, established by former Alban Elementary teacher Deb Austin Brown, teaches students a variety of success strategies, focuses on community service and inspires youth leadership.

“Educating our young people is one of the most effective ways that we can solve problems in our communities.” U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said, “Service learning projects, like the Success Club at Alban, are invaluable.  They provide more than just an outlet for students to interact with peers – they serve as a source where students can begin to develop a good ethical compass.”  

Goodwin created the United States Attorney’s Ambassador for Justice Awards program in April 2012 to honor West Virginia high school juniors who have shown outstanding leadership skills and a commitment to social justice.  The Ambassador for Justice program was formed following a tragic high school shooting in Chardon, Ohio, that claimed the lives of three young people and wounded two others in February of last year.  The Ambassador for Justice program was also established in response to a handful of reports that involved school bullying and attempted acts of violence by students within the southern district of West Virginia. 

U.S. Marshal John Foster said,“This program at Alban Elementary is an important way to equip young people with problem-solving techniques and leadership qualities.  The students, in turn, can use these qualities to add value to and strengthen their communities.”

Alban Success Club director Deb Austin Brown said, “It truly meant a great deal for our students to hear from U.S. Attorney Goodwin and U.S. Marshal Foster.  Our service learning club was created primarily to help students recognize the importance of community service.  This is a building block for their growth.  When students are motivated and set goals, they are bound to have success.”  

Over the past two years, Goodwin and Foster have visited several schools throughout the southern district of West Virginia speaking to students about bullying prevention, making responsible decisions and educating youth about the harmful effects of drug abuse.   

For more information about the Success Club at Alban, please visit:

Updated January 7, 2015