Students connect with politicians, pave the pathway for future careers

Senior Leo Ross of Fair Haven stands with

Blot Photo Courtesy of Leo Ross

Senior Leo Ross of Fair Haven stands with "Uncle Sam" at the Democratic National Convention.

Andrew Wang

With a controversial presidential election right around the corner, the halls of CHS are often filled with heated political debates. It’s no shock that the student body is politically-involved, but some students are currently shaping their futures as prospective members of the political process, whether they intern for senators or have attended the Democratic National Convention (DNC).

Senior Caroline Collins of Tinton Falls is one of these students, and she has worked for Sen. Jennifer Beck of the Republican Party since her freshman year.

“My experience working for a member of the Republican Party has been nothing but positive. Sen. Jen Beck is an incredible role model, and I’ve learned so much from her and her staff,” Collins said.  

At her job, Collins answers phones, responds to data-based emails, runs errands around town, writes letters on behalf of the senator and acts as her personal assistant at the New Jersey State House. She said the work is tiring but rewarding.

“Working in politics is definitely networking intensive by nature,” Collins said. “My dad ran for office with Sen. Beck when I was little, and they have remained friends. So I had that connection going into applying for the internship my freshman year.”

In addition to office work, Collins was given the opportunity to go out on the floor during a Senate voting session in Trenton with Sen. Beck.

“She introduced me to all of the state senators and recognized me for all of my hard work,” Collins said, regarding Sen. Beck.

From the left end of the spectrum, seniors Leo Ross of Fair Haven and Liz Srulevich of Holmdel intern for the Monmouth County Democrats, and they recently had the opportunity to attend the 2016 DNC.

Ross said the convention sparked his interest even further in the 2016 presidential race.

“The main thing I took away from my visit to the DNC is the importance of energizing yourself, and those around you about issues that you’re passionate about,” Ross said. “I would like to do all I can do to ensure that whoever takes the White House in November is running on a Democratic platform.”

Ross is currently undecided over whether or not he plans to attend the DNC in the future, but he hopes eventually to come back as a delegate and no longer as just an attendee.

Despite party and experience differences, students like Collins and Ross are are all passionate about their involvement in American politics. Collins even considers politics as a potential career.

“I don’t necessarily want to major in political sciences, but the logistics of local/state-level [politics] interest me” Collins said. “I could see a career in politics in my future.”

But for Ross, a future as a politician is less likely.

“I would like to be involved with politics in the future, but I am not considering it as a career. I don’t have a nice enough smile or a firm enough handshake,” Ross said.