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Vacca honors outstanding summer interns

A good internship provides local students with a hands-on opportunity to learn a new career and it doesn’t get more hands-on then working with Councilman Jimmy Vacca. 

Known for taking an active role in zoning, seniors and other issues affecting the local community, seven interns had a busy, but fruitful summer working with Vacca, and in a show of thanks, the councilman invited them out to his Bronx district office on Wednesday, August 13, to honor and wish them well as they prepared to return to school. 

“When it comes to public service, I know from personal experience that getting involved at a young age can make a huge difference,” said Vacca, who became active in community issues as a teenager and was appointed district manager of Community Board 10 at age 25.

This summer’s interns, in alphabetical order, were Ellis Cortez, 20, who attends Queens College; Stephen DiMaio, 14, who will be attending Townsend Harris High School; Jennifer Florez, 20, of Queens College; Jonathan Masserano, 20, a student at Georgetown University; Shaun Tooker, 19, who attends SUNY Geneseo; Ritchie Torres, 20, a student at New York University; and Jarrel Wallace, 19, who attends Herkimer County Community College.

Four of the interns helped out in the District, responding to constituent concerns and performing general office tasks, while three performed research and general office duties at the Councilman’s City Hall office.

 “It is so encouraging to see such intelligent, talented young people attracted to government service, and I was thrilled to provide them with this opportunity,” Vacca said of the experience.  “I am also incredibly grateful for the invaluable help they provided my staff over these past few months.”

Masserano, a second-year intern who is entering his junior year at Georgetown, where he is studying government, summed up the value of hands-on experience in shaping his view of public affairs and possible career paths.

“The experience of interning at Councilman Vacca’s office has made me realize how interrelated constituent services and legislative affairs are and how much one drives the other,” said Masserano, who learned more than what he had hoped for. 

“Not only have I received an inside view of how local government works, I have also gained a much deeper appreciation for the value of elected leaders who really care about the communities they represent,” Masserano added, summing up what many of his peers had also expressed.  “I am extremely grateful to Councilman Vacca and his dedicated staff for this opportunity.”


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