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Why are you interested in participating in the 2014 Model New York State Senate Session Project

Why are you interested in participating in the 2014 Model New York State Senate Session Project
The Model Senate Project, now in its 18th year, is intended to provide SOMOS student participants with a unique opportunity to develop leadership skills in a legislative/policy-making setting, with an emphasis on critical thinking and public speaking. Students participate in an intensive training program that consists of evening/weekend sessions with faculty mentors as they learn about New York State government, representation and the legislative process. The program culminates with a trip to the State Capitol in Albany, where students debate public policy in the Senate Chamber. An added feature of the Model Senate Project is the opportunity to compete for ten scholarships awarded by the NYS Assembly and Senate Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force, as well as summer internships with members of the state legislature.
Background information:
The mission of the Edward T. Rogowsky Internship Program in Government and Public Affairs is to provide “education for the public service” by bridging the gap between academic study and the practical world of government and public affairs. The Program is designed to equip its diverse student body with the appropriate skills necessary to ensure success within a dynamic and changing public sector environment.
Students and faculty from a broad range of academic disciplines are brought together with practitioners to produce the Program’s internship experience. The study of public affairs requires an intergovernmental approach, and students therefore are afforded opportunities at all levels of government. They are placed in the offices of city, state and federal legislators, or in government agencies; others work in neighborhood and community organizations; and still others work public advocacy groups. Despite this diversity of placements, each intern comes away from the internship experience with a universal lesson: “I can make a difference.” For many, the internship becomes a springboard into a career in public service and a lifetime of active citizenry.
The Program’s core components are the New York City Internship Program in Government and Public Affairs, the New York State Legislative Internships, and the CUNY Washington, D.C. Internship Program. Over 300 students participate annually in these programs, in New York City, Albany and Washington, D.C. In addition, The Program has developed and maintains 2 model legislative projects, the Model New York State Senate Session Project and the Model New York City Council Project. The Program also recently initiated the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus/CUNY Scholars Program.
The New York City Internship Program provides interns with guided and rigorous academic course work, and facilitates a theoretically grounded, yet practical understanding of New York City government and public affairs. Students are placed throughout the city, in governmental and non-governmental organizations. As a part of the NYC Internship Program, the Program produces the CUNY Forum. The CUNY Forum is a monthly public affairs discussion among students, faculty, policy makers and analysts about major issues affecting New York City and is later broadcast throughout the City on CUNY-TV’s cable channel 75.
In honor of its former director, the Hon. Edward T. Rogowsky, the Edward T. Rogowsky Internship Program Award was established in 2001. This program provides an award to one highly qualified CUNY student for a full year internship at a New York City Agency.
New York State Legislative Internships allow both undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to experience state governance first hand in the Albany offices of New York State Senators, Assembly Members, or with committee and leadership staff. Students who participate in the New York State Assembly and Senate Programs perform substantive work such as research on state legislation, assistance in drafting bills, constituent service and other legislative tasks. All of the Albany internship programs include a complete academic component and monetary award to offset students’ living costs.
The Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus CUNY Scholars Program provides another option for CUNY students who are interested in the workings of NYS government, but who are unable to relocate to Albany. The Caucus CUNY Scholars Program concentrates on the work of the Legislative Caucus, and the service of the State Legislature to communities of color and need in and around the City of New York.
The CUNY Women’s Public Service Internship Program runs each fall semester. The Program enables CUNY students from all mayors to learn by doing in the offices of selected public officials working to benefit women and promote women’s issues in New York. The program emphasizes policy research on matters concerning women, as well as community services and the development of leadership skills.
The CUNY Washington, D.C. Internship Program, an intensive eight-week summer experience, gives students the opportunity to see and be a part of the federal system at work. In Washington, D.C., students intern both on Capitol Hill and in federal agencies, as well as with interest and advocacy groups. While in Washington, D.C. CUNY students attend weekly colloquia featuring prominent government officials and leaders of non-governmental organizations. Housing and an award are provided to each participating student.
Leadership skills are promoted not only through the Program’s internships, but also through 2 model legislative projects: the Model New York State Senate Session Project and the Model New York City Council Project. Each year students are brought together for a series of intensive training sessions on the legislative process, policy formulation, representation and leadership. The Model Senate Project and the Model Council Project culminate with students debating bills on the floor of the New York State Senate chamber in Albany and New York City Council chamber, respectively. The Model Senate Project was created in 1997 by the City University of New York and the Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force of the New York State Legislature in collaboration with the State University of New York. The Model Council Project was initiated in 2002 to provide CUNY College Now participants with skills in critical thinking, debate, and community service.

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