Pierce Middle School student J'vion Todd and Lake County Prosecutor Bernard Carter

Lake County Prosecutor takes Pierce Middle School boys fishing

Contributed By: The 411 News

Celebration of successful "Let's Talk" mentoring program

In a heartwarming conclusion to his inaugural “Let’s Talk Program,” Lake County Prosecutor Bernard A. Carter took 9 middle school students from Clifford Pierce Middle School in Merrillville on a fishing trip.

The program was designed to engage middle school boys facing discipline issues at school.

“I appreciate Prosecutor Carter's willingness to devote time and energy to changing the lives of students here at Pierce. It truly takes a village and building community support will be key to our success," said Candace Lillie, Principal of Pierce Middle School. “It has been an incredible success with students showing remarkable improvements in behavior and attitude.”

The fishing trip was the culmination of a three month program where Prosecutor Carter engaged the boys in candid conversations, offering guidance and mentorship, while building trust and understanding. The fishing excursion, not only provided a fun and memorable experience, but also served as a platform for further bonding.

“I am incredibly proud of these young boys and their commitment to positive change,” said Prosecutor Carter. “Let’s Talk is about building relationships, instilling confidence and providing these boys with tools to navigate challenges they face in their daily life.”

“By providing a space for the boys to express themselves and receive guidance from Prosecutor Carter, we were able to make a meaningful impact in their lives,” said Cheryl Smith, Family and Community Engagement Specialist at Pierce.

“The fishing trip is pivotal to this group of students, as it is one of the first conversations we had about mentorship,” said Carter. “I shared with the students a story of when my own father had died and the void it left in me, and how I sought out a mentor who taught me how to fish.”

The fishing trip was made possible through the generosity of the community at Living Hope Church, 9000 W. Taft St. in Merrillville, who allowed the students to fish in their pond, as well as paying for the students and chaperones lunches.

For more information about the “Let’s Talk Program” and future initiatives, contact Myrna Maldonado, Public Information Officer for the Lake County Prosecutor’s Office at (219) 755-3720 or

Lake County Prosecutor Bernie Carter, (l-r), Living Hope Church board member DeLena Thomas, Pierce Middle School students Davion Johnson, Elijah Turner Jr., Robert Newell, Louis Hogan Jr., Terence King-Cawthon, J'vion Todd, and Pierce counselor Cheryl Smith

Story Posted:05/26/2024

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