Acting Prosecutor Stephens spoke to seniors at West Side High School in Newark yesterday on the importance of education as well as his own journey to becoming Essex County’s chief law enforcement officer.
“You have more opportunity than all generations before you,” Acting Prosecutor Stephens told the seniors. “You have all the information in the world in the palms of your hands, in your cell phones. You are the most technically savvy generation ever. And if you do the best you can in every situation, you’ll exceed somebody’s expectation of you. That’s important because you never know who will offer you your next opportunity.”
Iverson Molasco, an 18-year-old senior at West Side, said he enjoyed listening to Stephens, especially because he wants to work as a police officer or a cybersecurity detective. “My family left central America to escape the gangs, who had taken control of our country,” said Molasco. “I’d like one day to work in law enforcement, so it was great to hear Prosecutor Stephens.”
Ramona Shackleford, also a senior at West Side, said she’s not sure what she’ll do after she graduates next month, but she’d like to work as a summer intern at the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office. She has many interests such as art, music, and tending to the school’s garden. “But I’m interested in law enforcement,” she said, “and hope to be a summer intern at the prosecutor’s office this summer to see the opportunities there. ” — By Robert Florida