CEDAR GROVE, NJ – Two Cedar Grove students recently completed a summer youth internship with the Essex County Prosecutor’s office, including taking part in the New Jersey State Trooper Youth Week in July.
Gerard Castellano and Alisa Scivetti, both 17, were accepted into the program after submitting an application, letters of recommendation and upon the recommendation of their principal and guidance counselor. The goal of the program is to give high school students an opportunity to explore careers in law, law enforcement and government.
Castellano, who will be a senior at Cedar Grove High School in September, has aspirations of being a police officer, whereas Scivetti, who will be a senior at DePaul Catholic High School in the fall, has plans to become a prosecutor.
Castellano said he first heard of the program last year, but it was too late to apply. He made a point of applying this year, submitting his application in late February. It was Scivetti’s mother who told Scivetti about the program and encouraged her to apply.
Throughout the five-week internship, Castellano and Scivetti, along with approximately 25 other students from Essex County participated in classes at the Essex County Police Academy and took part in a mock trial. They also visited the offices of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Federal Air Marshall, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), US Customs, the Essex County Detention Center and various colleges. Lastly, the interns had the chance to attend New Jersey State Trooper Youth Week, a one-week residential program located in Sea Girt, NJ, and enjoyed some cultural activities that included the Schomberg Center, historical sites in Philadelphia and a Broadway play.
The internship culminated with a visit to Cedar Grove Police Department where Castellano and Scivetti spent the day shadowing Cedar Grove’s finest and interacting with the community.
Castellano cited the CGPD visit and the State Trooper Youth week as two highlights of the program, especially in light of his plans to become a municipal police officer. He also noted the experience he gained through the mock trial and exposure to the various agencies.
“The mock trial was really cool and it was great to see the different federal agencies,” he said. “The internship really provides a lot of information. They really do cover every aspect of law enforcement.”
Scivetti also mentioned the wide exposure to law enforcement offered by the internship program as a highlight.
“It was great to experience all the facilities and talk to people at all of the facilities like the DEA,” she said. “I had originally thought I wanted to be a prosecutor, but after talking to a DEA agent I thought that’s something I really could do too.”
Scivetti plans to further explore the DEA through an internship there in September.
For more information about the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Youth Internship click here.