Student Spotlight: Jesse Ferraioli

Cady Kuzmich/Gazette Reporter
Jesse Ferraioli, a sophomore at Shenendehowa, hopes to attend law school one day.Cady Kuzmich/Gazette Reporter Jesse Ferraioli, a sophomore at Shenendehowa, hopes to attend law school one day.

By Cady Kuzmich
Gazette Reporter

Clifton Park — Though she’s three years shy of voting age, 15 year old Jesse Ferraioli can likely outschool many adults when it comes to politics whether domestic or foreign affairs.


The Shenendehowa sophomore is testing the waters in news, law, speech and debate.  She has been job shadowing at WNYT every Saturday for about a year now. While spending time with reporters, Ferraioli began to think about how much more she had to learn. “I realized how ignorant I was of how everything works and the state of the world. I started joining clubs to broaden my horizons and figured out that’s where my interests lie,” she said.  


She joined Clifton Park’s Youth Court last year as a way to make a positive and tangible impact on the community she calls home. “I’ve always been interested in the judicial system and politics,” she said. She also joined Shen’s speech and debate team and qualified for the state championship competition. “I’ve never seen so many people in suits that were my age before,” she laughed.


Ferraioli qualified for nationals as a member of Shen’s crew team, which she has been a member of for four years, as well.


Ferraioli is leaning towards pursuing law and is interested in becoming a judge. She said she would also like to be a senator one day though she worries the job might corrupt her morals.  


Corruption in government, unrest in the middle east and the black lives matter movement are some of Ferraioli’s favorite topics to discuss. “The federal reserve really gets me riled up,” she added.  


Ferraioli might be seen walking around Shen’s campus with a New York Times or Wall Street Journal spread open. She cited an H.G. Wells quote which inspires her to educate herself — “Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.”


Williams, Princeton and Brown are a few schools at the top of Ferraioli’s list of prospective colleges. “Hey, it’s all gravy anyway so you might as well go for it,” she said. “There’s plenty of time to sleep when I’m dead.”


Ferraioli is less than thrilled with this year’s presidential candidates. “I have no idea who I would vote for — both have huge flaws,” she said.  


If Ferraioli could meet anyone, dead or living, she would like to meet Ronald Reagan. “I would love to live my life like he lived his. He was able to micro-manage, macro-manage and stick to his baseline of morality. He never altered his morals,” she said.


Q : What are you most proud of?
A: I’m proud of beginning to understand my morals and trying to live my life without the influence of others. Creating my own path and thinking for myself — that provides the base for all my accomplishments.


Q: What is your greatest challenge?  
A: I am very analytical. Often times I overanalyze and spend longer on a task than should be necessary.


Q: What is your favorite band?
A: The Hot Sardines. It’s 1920s style jazz modernized. They’re pretty charismatic.


Q: Do you have a favorite book?
A: “Don’t think of an Elephant.” It’s all about political frames and how you frame a debate but I think those lessons apply to life, too.


Q: What is your favorite movie of all time?
A: The Italian Job — solely because of the mini cooper.