BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y. -- Briarcliff High School students are learning how government works firsthand, along with the importance of citizen participation, through involvement with state Sen. David Carlucci’s Student Advisory Council.
Lauren Ballini, Henry Gartner, Paul Radovanovich and Matthew Reid were selected by Carlucci to meet on a regular basis with their peers from Ossining to discuss local issues and offer suggestions about local topics of importance.
The students are each interested in politics and government for individual reasons.
“It’s a new experience for me,” said Gartner, who joined the BHS student government this year as the freshman class treasurer.
Ballini said, “It’s important to have a voice in my community.”
The students said they enjoy having access to a local politician and appreciate how open Carlucci has been to listening to their input and how he has taken their suggestions to heart.
“We talked about Sing Sing (Correctional Facility),” said Reid, who went on to say the students offered suggestions for how the government could utilize the currently unused portions of the prison site.
Radovanovich added, “We discussed the balance of cultural appreciation and respect for the prisoners.”
Other topics of discussion have included the STEM subjects of science, engineering, math and technology in schools and ways to do good deeds in the community, such as organizing clothing drives during the colder months.
“We are gaining lots of valuable experience, such as public speaking,” said Ballini. “It’s so nice that when we bring up an idea, (Carlucci) listens and asks how he can help.”
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