“Interning at The Office of Council Member Kevin C. Riley showed me that I truly enjoy working in the public sphere. It was an invaluable experience,” says Lexi Reidenbaker ’23.
A New Jersey native and criminal justice major, Reidenbaker is preparing for a career in federal government. “I see myself working at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and also going back to school to pursue a graduate degree.”
What was your internship like?
The whole mission of the council member’s office was to be there for the community. We operated as an outreach center that helped people navigate different strenuous situations in their lives—be it housing issues, youth services, or general neighborhood concerns.
What did you learn from your internship?
The most rewarding part of the internship was being able to effectively help people find the proper assistance they needed. Working with Council Member Riley’s team, I learned to dive in, respectfully listen to someone’s issues, and find a way to be of service to them. One of my favorite memories was working outside with a table full of resources. As people walked up, right there on the spot, we’d answer their questions about what we do and how we could help them. That’s where I learned that simply engaging with people makes a great difference in their lives, and the well-being and growth of a community.
How has John Jay impacted your growth and career aspirations?
Growing up in a small town in New Jersey was a completely different atmosphere from my life at John Jay. I aspired to live in the city and learn from a diverse group of people with different backgrounds and perspectives. Coming to John Jay was the right decision for me because I gained so many rewarding life experiences—like playing soccer at the DIII collegiate level as a goalkeeper—that boosted my confidence and enhanced my team-building skills. Being part of the John Jay community has given me the tools, resources, and people to expand my horizons and successfully find my footing in the criminal justice world.