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Collegiate Institute student serves as Bronx councilman

Councilman Jimmy Vacca may have found his future replacement in a student from his alma mater at Christopher Columbus High School. 

Cesar Irigoyen, a junior at the Collegiate Institute for Math and Science, one of several small schools at Columbus, recently shadowed Vacca and served as “Council Member for a Day,” touring City Hall, attending a New York State Assembly hearing, and helping answer constituent concerns.

Irigoyen, who signed on to become a spring intern at Vacca’s office after hearing the councilman speak at the Columbus Prep for Success program, is already active in public service, serving as founding president of the Columbus chapter of the Latino youth organization Aspira Association.

Irigoyen was also elected by his peers throughout New York State, as the statewide treasurer of Aspira.

“As soon as I met Cesar, I knew he would be an asset to my office, and once we had a chance to speak at length, I immediately asked him to be Councilman for a Day,” said Vacca.

“Cesar has a maturity well beyond his years, and he has the smarts and the leadership ability to go far in life,” Vacca continued.  “Hopefully his time at my office will help him discover what his next step might be.”

As Councilman for a Day, Irigoyen started his day at 8:30 a.m., when he met with Vacca at his District Office, and concluded his journey at 6 p.m.

In the process, Irigoyen traveled to Lower Manhattan to witness Vacca testify at a State Assembly hearing about the failures at the Department of Buildings following the tragic crane collapse that claimed seven lives on Manhattan’s East Side. He also helped Vacca resolve constituent cases upon returning to the district later in the afternoon.

“As someone who aspires to one day be involved in government, and maybe even run for office, it was an extremely eye-opening experience to see government in action and to witness firsthand what a City Councilman does day-to-day,” Irigoyen said. “I am so grateful to Councilman Vacca for this experience, and I’m looking forward to learning even more as I continue my internship.”

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