While studying his senior year of high school at Hudson Valley, Stephen Pelletier looks at becoming Freshman Class President as his next greatest challenge.
“I’ve never been one to shy away from a challenge or a new experience,” he said.
Last week, Pelletier walked across campus asking students for signatures in an effort to get on the ballot for Freshman Class President. “At first, I would get a knot in my stomach when I want to talk to somebody new but I’ve overcome that very well in my years of going to various group and meeting various people,” he said.
Prior to entering Hudson Valley, Pelletier has taken pride in participating in community outreach from Relay for Life to Eagle Scouts. “I have high aspirations but I think that’s important so we can know how far we need to go. I’m never fully satisfied in going under that,” he said. At the age of 14, Pelletier became the youngest member of his troop to become an Eagle Scout.
For his final Eagle Scout’s project, Pelletier raised $1,300 to remodel a room with sports memorabilia at the Saint Catherines Center for Children Copson House, a residential facility for children with difficult situations. Memorabilia included items from a boxing glove signed by Gerry Cooney to an autographed photo of Phil Rizzuto.“While some people would clear a trail or clean up some headstones, I wanted a project that I could be proud of 30 years from now and so far, I already am,” said Pelletier.
He said, his experience in leadership is also the product of participating in athletics. “I do everything in my power to make sure my team remains my team,” he said about playing rugby, a sport which Pelletier hopes to turn into a campus club while being in the senate. Along with rugby, Pelletier has participated in over six different sports club and school teams from wrestling to cross country.
One of his greatest influences is President John F. Kennedy for the former Commander-in-Chief’s advocacy towards public service in his words “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” “I shouldn’t just be living life. I should be helping others when they can’t do that on their own.
According to Pelletier, another piece of American History change his direction as early as elementary school. “When I was in fifth grade, I fell in love with the constitution,” said Pelletier.
After learning about the Constitution, he remained interested in learning more about the legal system and has even job shadowed local law practices in an effort to learn more about pursuing a career in law.
“I wanted the challenge,” he said. Although Pelletier is required to spend his first year at the college studying liberal arts as part of the early admissions program, he eventually plans to switch his major to criminal justice. Berlin High School, according to Pelletier, lacked the advanced placement courses required to get further in the criminal justice program.
Pelletier was introduced to the Student Senate before coming to Hudson Valley by his sister, Erika.This semester, the Pelletier siblings will share the campus for the last time as Erika hopes to transfer. “It’s kind of weird already. We’re already in the same sociology class,” he said.
Although Pelletier knew about the Student Senate from his sister before the semester began, he said, working as a volunteer at Welcome Week escalated his interest in the organization. “I loved every moment [of Welcome Week]. I’m hoping to help out with a lot more events and I’m hoping that being a part of this will help,” said Pelletier.