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Brooklyn court says goodbye to interns after six-week program ends

August 11, 2017 By Rob Abruzzese, Legal Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The Brooklyn Supreme Court held a “closing ceremony” for students who took part in the annual summer Kings County Courts Student Employment and Internship Program. Pictured is the Rev. James Goode and the students who took part in the Izetta Johnson Essay Contest. Eagle photos by Rob Abruzzese
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Six weeks flew by for the interns of the Kings County Courts Student Employment and Internship program, who were sent off with a “closing ceremony” at the Brooklyn Supreme Court on Wednesday.

“This has been a wonderful group of interns and this is our way of showing appreciation to them for their hard work, and also to the mentors who provided their guidance,” said Charmaine Johnson, who helps to run the program. “There were a lot of workshops that they had to go through. To the supervisors that had an intern, we appreciate all of the guidance that you provided.”

The event was held in the ceremonial courtroom at 320 Jay St., where third-year intern Mitchell Domovsky served as the master of ceremonies. Speakers included Hon. Matthew D’Emic, administrative judge for the Kings County Supreme Court, Criminal Term; as well as Daniel Alessandrino, chief clerk; Donna Farrell, first deputy chief clerk; and the Hon. Deborah Dowling.

“The first time I spoke to you, I said that one of the most fun things I do is when I get to welcome the interns,” said Alessandrino. “Well saying goodbye is second because we get to recognize you for your service and your growth. Hopefully you had a good time. It went fast. I know that it goes by like lightning. I know we would love to have you for longer.”

Nefertiti Anderson, a media correspondent, video producer and social media strategist for BET (Black Entertainment Television), was the keynote speaker. Justice Evelyn Laporte gave closing remarks.

Anderson explained that while their internship is valuable, it’s not necessarily enough to get them a job. She spoke about how the students can make themselves stand out in a tough job market.

“You have to be authentic,” Anderson said. “In this world, everybody is trying to make you be everyone else but yourself. When you work in corporate America like I did, sometimes I struggled to be my authentic self because I thought that I had to be a certain way. Being your authentic self is that special sauce. There are other people in an internship program, there are other people with great grades. What sets you apart is the way you think, talk, dress.”

The interns also played a big role during the ceremony. In addition to Domovsky serving as M.C., Patrice Brown sang a song she wrote herself, Halle Paz performed a flamenco dance, Imani Saddler and Kenya Gordon each read poems and Maryam Hinson, Bernice Almonte and Kenya Gordon made remarks.

“Not only have I seen the justice system from a new perspective, but I have also gained valuable experience that will help me,” Hinson said. “Judge Dowling always encouraged me to ask questions and I did and learned so much. I wish this internship wasn’t over and I could stay longer.”

Following all of the speeches, awards and certificates were given out to the 78 interns in categories that included perfect attendance, perfect performance evaluation, Interns of the Week, best professional dress and sportsmanship. Two outstanding supervisors — Peter Pelc and David Polk — were also recognized.

Part of the awards included the Izetta Johnson Essay Contest Awards, which was held in honor of Johnson, who created and ran the program for decades.

“I thank God for the memory of Izetta Johnson and I also thank God for Charmaine Johnson,” said Dowling.


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