The Association  presents two awards annually recognizing special individuals. At the Midwinter Conference, the Association presents the Youth Achievement Award to an individual who has succeeded in our programs and has turned their life around. The recipient is awarded a plaque, a $200 check, and an overnight stay at the Crowne Plaza - Lansing prior to the presentation. Also, a $50 check is awarded to an individual from each region that has been selected as a regional representative. An application for this award is located at the bottom of this page.

At the Annual Conference, the Association recognizes a member who has contributed to their Court, their community and the Association with the Mary S. Coleman award. Members will receive further information regarding this recognition in the future.


Many members fail to nominate very deserving staff under the mistaken notion this is the “Martha Stewart Award” requiring that the recipient:

  • Work a 40-hour week at the sponsoring court;
  • Donate 20-40 hours additional service without requesting compensatory time;
  • Keep the family home comprised of spouse, three children and two foster children running smoothly and happily;
  • Volunteer weekends at the local animal shelter; and
  • Coach weekday evenings for the neighborhood Little League.

In contrast, the Mary S. Coleman Award is intended to honor the court worker whose contributions cast a special glow upon their court. Past winners tend to be individuals who:

  • Make coming to work a pleasure for their judges and their co-workers;
  • Turn obstacles into challenges;
  • Perform their job competently and professionally;
  • Freely give their assistance and talents to others;
  • Tend to look for the brighter side of a situation;
  • Perform their jobs without self-serving or hidden agendas;
  • Treat judges, co-workers, and clients with respect and positive regard
  • Contribute heavily to their court’s being viewed in a very positive light by the manner in which they conduct themselves privately and professionally in the community.

Take the time to identify and honor those special individuals within your workplace by completing the enclosed nomination forms today. Win or lose, it’s a nice feeling to be recognized and appreciated by those with whom we work. 

Nominations should be sent by September 1, 2016 to: Karen Heintzelman, Ionia County Juvenile Court, 100 W. Main St., Ionia, MI  48846.  Phone: (616) 527-5332.  Fax: (616) 527-5334.

Nomination Form



In 1985, the Juvenile Justice Association of Michigan established the Juvenile Justice Association Youth Achievement Award and renamed the award in 2009 to the Marylynn Morawa Youth Achievement Award.  This award is presented to a Michigan youth who meets the criteria outlined below.

It is the intent of the Association, through this award program to (1) recognize an individual who has overcome some personal hardship, i.e., neglect, abuse, delinquency; (2) encourage civic responsibility; (3) recognize an individual who has excelled within an area of interest to the individual, not necessarily scholastic; and (4) to bring the public’s attention an example of the constructive contribution being made by the youth. 


 Regional winners will be chosen by the JJAM committee from the applications submitted to the JJAM President. The Regional  winners are each presented with a $50.00 check from the Association. The Youth Achievement Award Winner is then selected from the Regional Winners. The State winner will be presented with  (1) a $250.00 check from JJAM,  (2) an engraved wall plaque which indicates the name of the Association, the name of the recipient, and the date of the presentation; and (3) an overnight stay at the Lexington Hotel. In addition, an engraved wall plaque  is presented by the Association to the sponsoring court from which the recipient is nominated at the Midwinter Conference.


The Association will furnish nomination forms to any member. These forms are to be used to identify deserving nominees and the court may use any selection process they desire.

The Court must be a current member of the Juvenile Justice Association of Michigan in order to submit a candidate. The Court may nominate more than one youth.

The youth nominated must be between 17 years of age and 21 years of age and discharged from the Court’s jurisdiction.

Nominations should be sent by February 1, 2017 to:  Karen Heintzelman, Ionia County Juvenile Court, 100 W. Main St., Ionia, MI  48846. Phone (616)527-5332. Fax (616)527-5334.

Please remember, this award may well provide the funds and recognition necessary for continued achievement by some outstanding young person in your community.

Nomination Form