“The internship with New York City Council Member Sandy Nurse taught me more about politics, gave me hands-on experience, and helped me land my current job with the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board,” says Venus Mariah Scantlebury ’22, a philosophy major from Brooklyn. “My ultimate goal is to help write and amend laws that will benefit underserved communities in New York City. I’m confident all of these experiences will help me enter law school.”
“I transferred to John Jay because I had gained greater clarity on what I wanted to become—a lawyer— and what I needed in a college environment—a community driven by social justice and advocacy.” —Venus Mariah Scantlebury ’22
What was life like growing up?
My single mother raised my younger brother and me in East New York. She had to work extremely hard to provide for us. There were times when my mother didn’t know how she was going to pay the rent or put food on the table, but she tried her very best to keep our childhood filled with love and nurture. Growing up, I saw school as a way out of my environment. I didn’t have a computer at home, so l filled out all of my college applications on my phone. I was determined to go to college and make a solid plan for myself.
Why did you decide to attend John Jay?
I transferred to John Jay because I had gained greater clarity on what I wanted to become—a lawyer—and what I needed in a college environment—a community driven by social justice and advocacy. John Jay didn’t disappoint. I developed many amazing relationships and had incredible experiences that made me who I am today.
What was your internship experience like?
I worked closely with the director of community affairs at tabling events, canvassing projects, and organizational initiatives. My responsibilities required me to assist with closing several constituent cases and conducting outreach to spread awareness about community events. I truly enjoyed meeting different people in the neighborhood and working with community stakeholders. The internship strengthened my resolve to work in public policy in the future. I also received incredible career advice from Council Member Nurse and her staff. After the internship ended, I continued to connect with her and do volunteer work for District 37. Last October, I accepted a job offer with the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) as an Outreach Coordinator. I know that the recommendations from Council Member Sandy Nurse and several staff members from her office helped me secure the job.
“I know that the recommendations from Council Member Sandy Nurse helped me secure the job.” —Venus Mariah Scantlebury ’22
What is your current job like?
My current position with the CCRB is the perfect opportunity for me to work in the realm of social justice, because I’m educating the public about their rights and responsibilities with police encounters. The CCRB is an independent agency that serves as civilian oversight of police misconduct. Knowledge is power; if I can educate vulnerable communities about their rights and responsibilities, then I know that I’m making positive changes in our society. I plan on working and gaining experience at my current job. Then, in 2024, I want to study for the LSAT and apply to law school.