March 28, 2014 | Community Service, External Affairs, Student Feature
Guttman second-year students Jessamine del Rosario, Tannya Luna, Juan Pulla served in the CUNY New York State Model Senate Project in Albany March 22 and 23. This annual event is organized by the New York State Assembly & Senate Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force and is part of the annual Somos el Futuro (We are the Future) Conference. Seven other Guttman students also attended the conference.
The Model Senate Project, now in its 18th year, provides 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 also attended a Gala dinner on Saturday, March 22, following their model session in the New York State Senate Chamber. Participating students will also be eligible to apply for one of ten SOMOS College Scholarships and an internship through the SOMOS CUNY Summer Internship Program.
Guttman student Tannya Luna found participation in the project to be worthwhile, noting that “The Model Senate project was a unique experience for me. I had the opportunity to experience a different environment where I had to put into practice skills that I have been developing, such as critical thinking, researching, and public speaking” Fellow Guttman student Jessamine del Rosario agreed: “We had to dedicate a lot of time and hard work. The Model Senate was intense, it was challenging, but it was completely worth it. It helped me with getting over my fear of public speaking.”
CUNY colleges may nominate up to four undergraduate students enrolled at their institutions to participate in the Model Senate Project training program. Nominees may come from any major field of study, must be in good academic standing, and have participated in no more than two Model Senate Projects. Students who have not previously taken part in the Model Senate Project are given priority in the selection process. Participants in the Model Senate Project must successfully complete intensive training seminars on New York State government, leadership and the legislative process to attend.
About the New York State Senate Session Project
The Model New York State Senate Session Project was developed in 1997 by the City University of New York at the request of the Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force of the New York State Legislature as part of the Annual Somos El Futuro (We Are the Future) Conference in Albany. The Model Senate Project continues to provide college students from the City and State Universities of New York with a unique opportunity to develop and enhance their leader ship potential through experiential education. The Model Senate Project brings over 60 students from CUNY and SUNY colleges into the New York State Senate Chamber to debate and vote on public policies that concern all New Yorkers. The Edward T. Rogowsky Internship Program develops the training component and coordinates the selection process for CUNY. SUNY participants are drawn from various campuses and are trained both at their home college and in-tandem with their CUNY peers in New York City.
Through direct participation in the process of legislative decision-making, Model Senate participants, such as New York State Assembly member José Peralta, who participated in the inaugural project, are given the chance to further their organizational, research and public speaking skills. By working on a legislative agenda that they themselves develop in part, the students who participate in the Model Senate Project play an integral role in the pursuit of a public service education. Moreover, they are introduced to a “hands-on” approach to involvement in the political and policy processes that affect them, their families and their communities in New York City and New York State.