Education

St. Joe’s grad gets a taste of politics

St. Joseph Catholic Academy graduate Jonathan Hayes, left, met Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, of Florida. Hayes has been developing his interest in politics since his graduation from St. Joe’s.
St. Joseph Catholic Academy graduate Jonathan Hayes, left, met Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, of Florida. Hayes has been developing his interest in politics since his graduation from St. Joe’s. Photo provided

A St. Joseph’s Catholic Academy graduate got a hand in politics this summer.

According to a school spokeswoman, Jonathan Hayes, of McVeytown, was accepted into a 10-week internship with U.S. Rep. Tom Marino, R-Lycoming Township, at the congressman’s Washington, D.C., office.

Marino represents the commonwealth’s 10th Congressional District.

Hayes’ responsibilities included answering phones and replying to emails, but his interest in politics was the motivation to meet with other politicians including Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, and Rep. John Lewis, D-Georgia.

After running into Lewis in an elevator, Hayes arranged a meeting with the civil rights leader.

“To see with my own two eyes the scars on his head, which remain a testament to the shocking violence inflicted upon Lewis and his fellow marchers, and to know that he is the last remaining living speaker from the March on Washington, where he was the youngest speaker at 23 years old, was deeply humbling, inspiring and overwhelmingly profound,” Hayes said in an emailed statement.

The internship was also a foot in the door for Hayes to attend the Republican National Convention in Cleveland as an alternate delegate.

“At 20 years old, I became the youngest member in the entire Pennsylvania delegation at the convention, and among the youngest in the entire convention,” Hayes said. “The convention was dramatic and amazing; I was even interviewed by Stephen Colbert and the clip was broadcast on his show that week.”

The St. Joe’s Class of 2014 grad is a junior at the University of Richmond with hopes to study political science.

“We each have a vocation — a calling — in our own lives, and for me, it is politics,” he said. “Granted, it can be extremely challenging, even depressing at times, but I share George Washington’s sentiments on what politics should aim to achieve: ‘to see the whole world in peace, and the inhabitants of it as one band of brothers, striving who should contribute most to the happiness of mankind.’ ”

As for going into politics after graduation, Hayes, in a press release, said he wants to, “enter politics for the right reason.”

Britney Milazzo: 814-231-4648, @M11azzo

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