HAUPPAUGE, N.Y. – The Suffolk County Legislature’s summer Pages are returning to college this fall with stories to share about spending their summer in county government.
The fifth year of the Suffolk County Legislature’s Page Program concluded on Aug. 9, marking the end of the 12-week summer internship aimed at immersing college students into the inner workings of county government. This year’s program had 22 Pages who worked in legislative district offices and participated in weekly workshops led by Suffolk County officials. Students also participated in weekly mock legislative meetings during which they played the roles of county legislators, formed their own caucuses, and debated and voted on mock legislation.
Page Samantha Napoli, an Adelphi University student who worked in Legislator Sarah Anker’s Mount Sinai office, said her favorite parts of the program were learning about different careers in county government and creating her own mock legislation about issues she cares about.
“The Page Program taught me a lot about myself – what I should embrace and what I can work on – both in the professional and personal atmospheres,” Napoli, of Rocky Point, said. “I am very grateful for having graduated from the Page Program because I now have more knowledge than I ever thought I would about government and have a clearer picture of what I might like to pursue in a career.”
Suffolk County Legislature Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory started the program in 2015 to provide college students with a rewarding and educational experience in local government.
“We are so proud of all that the Pages have accomplished this summer,” Presiding Officer Gregory said. “These students made meaningful contributions to the offices they served and strengthened their leadership and professional skills. They are the next generation of leaders, and we are grateful to have had them share their summer with us.”
“It’s been a pleasure watching these young men and women immerse themselves in the policy-making process,” said Legislator Tom Cilmi, the minority leader. “They’ve learned how our government works, developed their interpersonal skills, and gained an understanding of the complexities often inherent in the issues we confront on a daily basis. I am confident that, whether or not they go on to pursue public service, they leave the Page Program with real life experience and skills which will serve them well in the future.”
One of the weekly workshops was a “Mock Interview Day” with county employees, legislators and other volunteers to help prepare the Pages for future job interviews. Additionally, students were assigned homework that was graded weekly, challenging them even while they were not attending legislative activities.
Clerk of the Legislature Jason Richberg, whose office coordinates the program, said this year’s class of Pages was the most innovative group yet.
“They came in with fresh ideas and helped us evolve the program in valuable ways,” Richberg said. “It was a pleasure to work with these students every week and help them understand how our county works.”
The Page Program Class of 2019 Members were:
Steven Basileo, of St. James, who attends Suffolk County Community College
Hillary Beaudouin, of Holtsville, who attends SUNY Potsdam
Olivia Catanuto, of Center Moriches, who attends Saint Joseph’s College
Erin Denzler, of West Islip, who attends Monmouth University
Gavin Gannon, of Lindenhurst, who attends Suffolk County Community College
William Gavin, of Holbrook, who attends Sachem East High School
Carley Germain, of Coram, who attends St. John’s University
Benjamin Goldberg, of Melville, who attends The George Washington University
Kayla Griffin, of Deer Park, who attends Carnegie Mellon
Marissa Lehner, of Port Jefferson, who attends the University of New Haven
Morgiana McDevitt, of Islip, who attends the University of South Carolina
Samantha Napoli, of Rocky Point, who attends Adelphi University
Matthew Okrent, of East Setauket, who attends Georgetown University
Angela Porwick, of Bayport, who attends CUNY City College of New York
Khadija Saad, of Shirley, who attends Stony Brook University
Alexandra Salim, of East Islip, who attends Campbell University
Ezekiel Wigutow, of Huntington, who attends the University of Notre Dame
Aaron Wladis, of East Northport, who attends Muhlenberg College
Nicholas Abbazio of Lindenhurst, who attends Fordham University, Shannon Benson of East Setauket, who attends McGill University in Canada, Carlos Cobo of Brentwood, who attends Stony Brook University, and Skyler DeLucia of Smithtown, who attends Suffolk County Community College, served as “Senior Pages.” They went through the program previously and returned to help organize activities and guide this year’s Pages.
The Suffolk County Legislature’s 2019 Pages celebrate the completion of their intensive summer internship with program coordinators.
More photos, including photos of individual Pages with certificates, are available on the Legislature’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SuffolkCountyLegislature.