Three CAP Students Named Leaders of Tomorrow

03/01/2021

Three Riverhead CAP High School students have been accepted into the Suffolk County Leaders of Tomorrow Youth Council. Tifany Perez, Cameron Rothwell, and Alexandra Santoro will be part of the new council that engages youth in County government. All three are members of both CAP’s Peer Leadership program and the Riverhead Youth Coalition (RYC).

The Youth Council consists of 30 young people ages 14-21. It is youth-run and adult supported. Members will work on policy teams to identify and prioritize issues that matter to Suffolk County youth. These teams include: education and careers, civic engagement, juvenile justice, environmental justice, and youth violence/cyberbullying. Members will also design and facilitate workshops specifically for youth advancement.

“The Suffolk County Leaders of Tomorrow Council is a great vehicle for effective peer to peer interaction and education. I am proud that three of the individuals chosen to participate are from the East End,” said Suffolk County Legislator Al Krupski. “These young people, Alexandra, Cameron and Tifany, serve as an inspiration and are well-deserving of this honor, as they are active in CAP’s Peer Leadership and Riverhead Youth Coalition programs. I wish them the very best as they take on this new responsibility.”

“Alexandra, Cameron, and Tifany demonstrate commitment to our community through their work with Riverhead CAP and Riverhead Youth Coalition—work that exemplifies the intention that the Suffolk County Leaders of Tomorrow Youth Council is created upon,” added Legislator Bridget Fleming.  “Given the new challenges we face as we build back from the global health crisis, our success will come from how our leaders of tomorrow are included in our recovery today. My office looks forward to providing feedback and assistance in any way.”

The three students represent both Suffolk County legislative districts.

WELL PREPARED FOR A NEW ROLE

All three identified how participating in CAP’s programs prepared them for this new role.

“I have been involved with CAP since seventh grade,” said Alexandra, a freshman. “It helps me realize that there are many problems in our community, and youth can help take a leap into solving those issues. Participating in CAP programs also helps me find better ways to speak up.”

“CAP Peer Leadership has taught me how to positively make my own decisions and what the effects will be because of my choices,” said Tifany, also a freshman. “RYC has taught me to engage in conversations and not withhold speaking my opinion. Overall, both of these groups have let me in some way represent the youth in my community.”

Cameron, a junior, has also been involved with CAP programs since seventh grade. “CAP helped prepare me for this through public speaking and presentations,” he said. “It has also shown me where people need help and I hope to bring that to the County level.”

A TREMENDOUS OPPORTUNITY

“This is a tremendous opportunity for Alexandra, Cameron, and Tifany,” said Christine Tona, Riverhead Central School District Interim Superintendent. “I thank them for their leadership in the community. In addition, I look forward to learning about the workshops that they will help design and facilitate. I am confident that they will do a fine job representing Riverhead.”

Riverhead High School Principal Sean O’Hara also calls this an “incredible opportunity” for the three students. “We are extremely proud of Alexandra, Cameron, and Tifany,” he said.  “I am excited for them as they begin this important work.  We are truly grateful for our partnership with CAP.  The qualities and skills that our CAP High School student volunteers develop will serve them well in all of their future endeavors.”

Tifany Perez

Tifany Perez is a 14-year-old freshman at Riverhead HS. “I am most interested in being a part of the education and careers policy team,” she said. “I believe education overall is immensely important in everyone’s lives. It creates a foundation for a successful future, as well as helping youth develop qualities needed to excel in life. I hope for all youth to have an exceptional education that will lead them to their dream career.”

“I also feel excited to contribute my thoughts to the County,” she added. “It’s an honor to represent the thoughts and opinions of the youth in my community. Everyone’s voice needs to be heard and I am thrilled to represent them in this way.”

Cameron Rothwell

Cameron is a 16-year-old junior. As a member of Riverhead Youth Court, he is most interested in serving on the juvenile justice policy team. “I have learned a lot through the Youth Court program,” he said. “I feel I would be an asset to Suffolk County since I already have a background in juvenile justice.”

Alexandra Santoro

Alexandra is a 14-year-old freshman. “As soon as I got the opportunity to apply, I knew I was interested in this program,” she said. “I’ve always been interested in finding ways to be a voice for kids my age, and this is the perfect opportunity for me to do so.”

Alexandra also wants to serve on the education and careers policy team. “Education is vital. It can turn our dreams into reality, help us build goals and, of course, build into career progression,” she added.