By APH Staff
APH was recently visited by another woman in leadership, this time The Honorable Paula M. Carey, Chief Justice of the Trial Court for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Her responsibilities in the state’s judicial system are vast as she leads nearly 400 trial judges, 99 courtrooms, and thousands of employees. We were certainly glad she could take time out to speak with us at APH, and her message was one of empowerment, inspiration, and tangible reward. Yes, she confirmed, bias and unfair treatment are real, but that can be overcome with empathy, intentionality, and strong relationships. “Be sure to have your voice heard. Dream of what you can be and don’t limit yourselves. Through this, the difficulties of the increasingly complex world can be met with results, for you and for others.”
“The point,” Justice Carey emphasized, “is to make someone better because you intersected with their lives.” Her message was clear: in the legal world, and other places, women must “push to succeed,” but loving what you do ensures your impact on the world. “Put a piece of your work in your life, and you will succeed and overcome challenges,” she said. Certainly, Justice Carey lives this idea, having put numerous initiatives in place to fight disproportionate sentencing in the courts and other injustices, winning many awards and accolades along the way.
When a student asked the Chief Justice what advice she would give her high school self, she replied with, “Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Don’t be afraid to try. Mistakes can shape us into our strongest selves.” Above all,” she added, “be intentional.”
Her message was definitely well received by the students. Siobhan Noonan ’21 noted that Justice Carey’s “life represents real empowerment and impact, and it really had an impact on me.” Alex Lang ’21 also found the presentation “really inspiring, seeing someone so passionate about helping others without bias over their situation.”
Justice Carey’s talk with APH was another example of our quest to create strong leaders in our students, capable of maintaining a leadership role and guiding others toward justice despite numerous pressures. It certainly made for an interesting and thought-provoking Monday.