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student intern Robert Mendelson highlights internship from 2007 to last week
Release Date: June 17, 2015

Town Clerk Judith Beville and I have been overseeing a student internship program. Periodically, we like to highlight the work some of our hard working interns do. Robert Mendelson recently completed his externship in my office -- part of his Ardsley High School senior requirements. Robert is not new to the town government. He's been volunteering since 2007!
If you are interested in becoming a student intern or if a son or daughter would like to experience local government, please e mail me at pfeiner@greenburghny.com or Town Clerk Judith Beville at townclerk@greenburghny.com.
 This is his report about his experiences since 2007.
I was first introduced to Town service after a phone call from Supervisor Feiner arrived. The phone call was meant for my mother, but I answered. During the call, I spoke to Supervisor Feiner about how diesel fuel emissions make schoolchildren like me sick. Feiner was surprised to hear someone so young talking to him about environmental issues. When I handed the phone to my mother, Feiner asked her if I could speak on that subject at an upcoming town meeting. I accepted, and on August 15th, 2007 I delivered my report to the Greenburgh Town Board..
In October 2008, Supervisor Feiner invited me to host a talk show on Greenburgh Public Access Television. In an interview with Feiner himself, I asked him innocently “Why do people have to pay taxes?” He responded by saying that “If people did not pay taxes, then the government would not be able to afford building playgrounds for children. Someone has to pay for the equipment.” With my mind teaming with questions, I asked away, and it was that inquisitive feeling that introduced me to journalism. I went on to interview other figures in the Town, such as the police chief. This experience was the beginning of an introduction to journalism.
In the summer of 2011, Feiner invited me to co-host his own radio show for a summer. The first guest on the show was Judy Cheng Hopkins,  Assistant Secretary-General for peacebuilding support in the United Nations. ESQUIRE Magazine named her one of the most important women in the United Nations. She resides in Greenburgh.  I first asked her “How did you get interested in Public Affairs.” She responded that “I was first interested in foreign affairs when I went to college. I took classes on that subject, and I decided to pursue a career in diplomacy.” I then asked her about UN peace builders, in which she responded that “peace builders enter a country after the initial violence ends, in order to neutrally address the goals of both and peacefully resolve a conflict.” In the end, I successfully navigated through my first radio interview.
Beginning in early 2011, I participated in Greenburgh Student News Network (GSNN), a pilot program run by Patricia Lang, a retired director for NBC news. The Student News Network was a program offered by the town.  As part of the program, I reported on the construction of the new Tappan Zee Bridge over the Hudson River. In this case, my interview was with Supervisor Feiner. During the interview, I asked him about the future of the old bridge after the new bridge is completed. Feiner responded, saying that “I want to turn the old Tappan Zee Bridge into a world-class park that would rival the Walkway over the Hudson in Poughkeepsie. Sadly, it does not seem like that it is going to happen.” The rest of my news story detailed the design and date of completion for the new bridge. By the time I completed the program, I learned how to successfully write, produce, and edit a news story.
In December of 2013, I interviewed Greenburgh Police Chief Christopher McNerney. Drawing inspiration from current events, I asked  Chief McNerney questions about his department policies.  I moved on to community policing and other issues within the Town of Greenburgh. This interview completed my introduction to the world of journalism.
All of these prior experiences as an intern led up to my senior externship this year. I explored the feasibility of placing solar panels on municipal buildings. The second week I wrote fliers about energy conservation initiatives. I then planned to interview Mark Thielking of the Energy Improvement Corporation and wrote questions. I also wrote the script for the PSA. The third week I practiced and did the interview.  I practiced reciting the script of the PSA. The last week I did the PSA. I then made several phone calls throughout the town to local businesses asking if they would be interested in pursuing lower cost energy options. . I may have found a few businesses to support the program, but it is too early to tell.
I am extremely grateful for Supervisor Feiner for getting me started in a career of public service. I look forward to build on these experiences as a business major at Binghamton University in the fall.
Interview - https://youtu.be/1jBc6KxSI2s
PSA -  https://youtu.be/1iwGa101i0M 
Here is the dailyvoice article link: http://greenburgh.dailyvoice.com/neighbors/ardsley-high-schools-robert-mendelson-cited-work-greenburgh-intern

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