Conor Johnson’s dream job is serving as a U.S. Supreme Court justice.
Pretty ambitious and a long way off for a graduating college senior. But it’s hard to doubt this politically motivated dynamo.
“Don’t be afraid to try new things. From an early age, I have been taught not to shy away from new experiences,” said Mr. Johnson, a political science and history major, and a member of no less than eight clubs at SJC Long Island.
“It is better to try something and realize that you don’t like it than to never try it and have regret.”
Taking a Political Position
Mr. Johnson, part of a new wave of politically active young people in the United States, made the most of every opportunity he received at SJC Long Island. He is one of the founders and president of SJC’s Political Science Club and was selected by his professors to attend the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
At the convention, Mr. Johnson worked alongside Clarence Page, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist of the Chicago Tribune. With Mr. Page, Mr. Johnson was able to meet and interview many leading politicians and members of the media.
“Attending the Democratic National Convention was an amazing experience I will never forget,” he said. “I have been given so much during my years at St. Joseph’s, and I am so grateful to the many teachers and mentors who have helped me along the way.”
Securing an Internship
Upon returning from the convention, Mr. Johnson secured an internship with U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer’s Long Island office in Melville. In the senator’s office, Mr. Johnson’s duties included staying up-to-date on news articles and trending topics, working with constituents via phone and email, joining the senator at local events, providing casework assistance and directing constituents’ concerns to the proper people.
In January, Mr. Johnson got a first-hand look at a major historic event in recent history. On Jan. 19, 2018, the U.S. government began a three-day shutdown after Senate Republicans and Democrats were unable to agree on a stopgap funding measure to continue government services. As an intern in the senator’s office, Mr. Johnson experienced an influx of phone calls from people concerned about the impending shutdown and how it would affect them.
“Although the callers were spread across the political spectrum, nearly all of them were furious and many blamed Sen. Schumer for his role in the shutdown,” Mr. Johnson said. “Some callers were scared about the welfare of loved ones in the armed forces, while others were simply angry at what they called ‘the disorganization’ in Washington. Nevertheless, I found it encouraging that so many constituents were taking the time to express their opinions and become more politically active.”
Staying Busy at SJC
In addition to his internship and full schedule of classes, Mr. Johnson was a member of SJC’s Phi Alpha Delta pre-law fraternity, Evolve Student Leadership, the Dean’s Service Circle, the History Club, the Criminal Justice Club, Students Taking an Active Role in Society (STARS) and Orientation Team. He was also a contributing writer to SJC Long Island’s student newspaper.
“St. Joseph’s has been an amazing experience for me, both intellectually and emotionally,” said Mr. Johnson, who plans to pursue a master’s degree and later go to law school. “My time here has been a wonderful way to prepare for my future and has left me better equipped for entering the next stage of my life. I have a lot to be thankful for.”