Suffolk County Legislator Tom Donnelly recently honored Legislative District 17 Page Program Graduates for successful completion of the intensive program on county government.
Ethan Halle of Huntington, a 2020 graduate of Walt Whitman High School in Huntington Station, and Rachel Kang of Dix Hills, a rising senior at Syracuse University Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Policy, participated in the Suffolk County Legislature’s 2020 Page Program, held this year via zoom due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During the ten-week program, which commenced in May, they joined virtual sessions to learn various elements of Suffolk County government, each took on the role of a legislator, drafted legislation to debate with fellow pages and created COVID-19 community projects.
Ethan and Rachel were tasked with creating a poster that stores could use to educate customers on proper and appropriate mask and gloves disposal. For the group COVID-19 community project, they joined other Pages in developing and implementing a food drive and delivery program to address the increased numbers of residents suffering from food insecurity due to the pandemic, with over 100 meals ultimately delivered to families in need.
Graduation was conducted via zoom on August 10 with students receiving graduation certificates and proclamations in drive-by ceremonies held at the William H. Rogers Legislature in Hauppauge on August 11 and/or at their homes later that week. More than 120 students have participated in the Suffolk County Legislature Page Program, initiated by former Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory, since its inception in 2015. Applications are due in March of each year and selection is highly competitive. Those who successfully complete the program can reapply the following year to come back in a leadership role as a “Senior Page.”
“I applaud Ethan Halle and Rachel Kang for the outstanding work they did over the course of the Suffolk County Legislature 2020 Page Program. Despite the challenges in participating via zoom, rather than in person as had been done previously, their passion for learning and drive to succeed were evident and inspiring,” said Legislator Donnelly. “I wish them continued success in all of their future endeavors.”
To learn more about the Suffolk County Legislature’s Page Program visit https://www.scnylegislature.us/895/Page-Program. Next year’s application process will begin in early 2021. For more information, contact Legislator Donnelly’s district office at (631) 854-4433.