He’s the pick of the litter

For the first time ever, Community School District 20, Councilmember Vincent Gentile and State Senator Marty Golden partnered to hold an essay contest for eighth graders at I.S. 201.

The winners, who wrote about prescription drug abuse and litter, won internships at Golden and Gentile’s offices respectively. The choices were based on the participant’s imagination and writing skills.

Nicholas Pilacinskiwas one of the lucky winners. He just began his internship at Gentile’s office, working on sanitation issues.

“I knew it was a problem. I saw it happening all the time and I wanted to address it,” said the Staten Island resident, who lived in Bay Ridge until two years ago.

His mom noted that when the family travels somewhere else, Pilacinski is quick to point out how much cleaner other cities are compared to New York City.

Litter is especially bothersome to him because he is “really organized and neat.”

Pilacinski already has some ideas about combatting litter. “Increase fines, hire more Sanitation workers to clean streets and make commercials to address the problem,” he said.

“It’s pretty exciting,” Pilacinski said when this paper chatted with him before he started the gig. “I’m a little scared. I don’t know what it’s going to be like, but I am happy that I won.”

Pilacinski is looking at attending Staten Island Tech or New Dorp High School in his home borough. He enjoys writing and swimming. Pilacinski said he wants to be a doctor when he gets older, but his options are open.

He said that in his internship he hopes to “just learn how they work every day and what they do, how they change things and make our city better.”

Mom Margaret said that she is proud of her son. “It was a very nice ceremony,” she said. “My life now is for moments like this. We are going to see him do good. The whole family is very proud.”

Gentile said he was looking forward to working with Pilacinski.

“Taking pride in your community at an early age is very important,” he said. “Giving back is one of the most rewarding experiences that both parents and children can do together. You will be proud to know that your child can influence others to act from the heart while promoting the quality of life in a community and developing the combination of knowledge, skills, values and motivation to make that difference.”

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