Judge, Circuit Bench in St. Louis, Missouri
Speaker at the 1:30 p.m. ceremony on May 15, 2015
Judge Jimmie M. Edwards is a senior member of the circuit bench in St. Louis, Missouri. He has served over 23 years. From 2007 to 2012 Judge Edwards served as Administrative Judge of the Family Court. Frustrated by the rising number of high school dropouts with no job skills and no legitimate means to earn a living, Judge Jimmie M. Edwards conceived an idea for an innovative type of school that could educated and supervise the court’s juvenile delinquents. With help from the St. Louis Public School District, MERS Goodwill Industries, St. Louis Family Court and numerous supporters the Innovative Concept Academy opened its doors in the fall of 2009. This first-of-its-kind school has received national acclaim from the CBS Early Show, the Today Show and the Wall Street Journal. PEOPLE magazine named Judge Edwards one of its 2011 heroes of the year. Ebony magazine selected him to its 2013 Power 100 most influential in America List and Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts presented Judge Jimmie M. Edwards with the William Rehnquist Award for Judicial Excellence-one of our nation’s highest judicial awards. In 2014, Judge Edwards received honorary Doctor of Laws Degrees from Saint Louis University and Eden Theological Seminary.
Due to their environment and home life his students do not have dreams, they have nightmares. Children cannot dream until they are taught what to dream about. Judge Edwards believes that dreams give children the hope for a better future and the determination to succeed.