Sophia Conrad, a Waldorf School of Garden City “lifer” and newly elected Student Body Co-President, is pursuing her passion for politics by interning with Senator Todd Kaminsky. Sophia hopes to study political science and create her own path towards her major.
“I am interested in political science. I’m very interested in politics, government. I may pursue history, maybe international relations. I plan on going to a school that allows for more freedom with class selection and majors selection,” says Sophia.
In June (safely and virtually), Sophia met the Senator when he awarded her with the New York State Senate Student Star Award for academic achievements and community involvement. “I reached out to his office in July, and they got back to me and said they did have an opening for an internship in the fall and had just started recruiting.”
According to the Senator’s website, Senator Kaminsky is one of New York’s most vocal advocates for tax relief, clean government and ethics reform, a leader on education issues, and the Environmental Conservation Committee’s current chair.
When asked why she chose to reach out to Senator Kaminsky specifically, she explained, “I reached out to Senator Kaminsky because he is my senator, and I wanted to work with someone in my community.”
Sophia has been assigned to a staffer in Senator Kaminsky’s office who works with Long Beach residents. Her duties include summarizing the day’s news and writing commendations letters for people in the community, such as Elaine Gross, the Founder and President of ERASE Racism, a regional civil rights organization based on Long Island, and another Long Beach resident who was featured win Newsday for working with the Long Beach local soup kitchen. “I think just how knowing how local government works and actually knowing how much work my representatives do for me. There is so much outreach. You have no idea unless you get out there and in the community. Before I even had this internship, I was volunteering at a food drive, and the Senator just showed up. They do get out there. They do go out into the community. There is definitely a disconnect that should be looked at, but it’s very interesting to see how they’re involved.”
While Sophia’s job didn’t change much during this election cycle, likely because most of her assignments and tasks are online, she did learn a lot about Long Island Representatives. “One of my assignments was to create daily press clips for the office, and I did notice that there were mentions of his campaign and the Long Island Nine in some unrelated articles I read. I definitely know a lot more about Long Island representatives now!”
The internship, overall, has been a wonderful experience; however, Sophia would have preferred a more traditional version of the job, “I wish this wasn’t a virtual internship and was more like a ‘real’ internship so that I could be getting more assignments. but it has been a great experience.”