Four Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) seniors are representing the school system this year in the Maryland General Assembly’s Student Page Program. They are Toluwanimi Dapo-Adeyemo, Samuel Chernoff, Tyne Kidd, and Andrea Kornegay.
Each of this year’s selected participants are leaders among CCPS students in the areas of academics, student government, athletics, and extracurricular activities. Dapo-Adeyemo, Chernoff, and Kidd were chosen as program representatives and Kornegay is the program alternate this year. Students in the program, including the alternate, participate in the Maryland General Assembly’s legislative session, which includes a mix of both virtual and in-person meetings this year.
The legislative session kicked off earlier this month and runs through April. Students in the program participate in meetings and sessions for two, one-week periods during the legislative session.
More than 100 Maryland high school students participate in the program annually, each serving as a representative of their respective school district. Three representatives are chosen with a fourth student serving as an alternate. Students can apply during their senior year and the selection process is competitive. Applicants must demonstrate an interest in the program and interview before a panel of judges. The Board of Education at its Feb. 8 meeting will recognize the CCPS students for their participation in the program.
Dapo-Adeyemo is a senior at North Point High School. He said he first learned about the page experience from two friends who were chosen to participate in previous program years. His passion for political advocacy and interest in new experiences led Dapo-Adeyemo to apply for the program.
“With this experience under my belt, I will go into college more certain of what path I’ll be taking after I go into the real world. Whether it be politics, non-profit work, law or something else entirely, things will be a little clearer after I have a glimpse into how real legislative proceedings go,” Dapo-Adeyemo said.
After graduation, Dapo-Adeyemo said he plans to possibly study economics and/or sociology. His preferred school is Dartmouth College or North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, also known as North Carolina A&T State University.
Dapo-Adeyemo is heavily active in student government at the state, county, and school levels. He currently sits as the president of the Charles County NAACP Youth Council, North Point Student Government Association (SGA) vice president, vice president of the Maryland Association of Student Councils (MASC), North Point National Honor Society president, and chief of staff with the Charles County Association of Student Councils (CCASC).
Chernoff is a senior at Maurice J. McDonough High School. He is heavily involved in SGA activities and helped to advocate the Maryland General Assembly for the passage of voting rights for the Student Member of the Board of Education. Chernoff also serves as the service coordinator for the MASC and is a member of the school marching band, theater stage crew and Its Academic team.
He said he applied for the page program to gain real-world political experience. “The program will help me enhance my understanding of how the political system works and provide me with hands-on experience in the field that I can use in the future as I aim to continue to spark real-world change,” Chernoff said.
Chernoff plans to attend a four-year college and major in data science. He said he was excited to return to in-person instruction this school year and resume activities he enjoys. Chernoff also splits his time with additional activities such as the school jazz band, serves as the student technical director for the drama club, is an Eagle Scout, junior assistant scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 1814, and captain of the McDonough It’s Academic team. The team recently earned first place at the county level and will soon compete at the regional level.
Kidd is a senior at Henry E. Lackey High School and a longtime participant in all things student government. She said she first learned about the page program from a peer who had been accepted to represent CCPS in the program during a prior year and knew it was an opportunity she would apply for as a senior.
“She constantly described her unforgettable experience within the program, while as the deep connections formed with our state’s representatives. Instantly, I was captivated by the idea of such an opportunity existing. After years of legislative studies and local advocacy, I completed my application and my dreams came true,” Kidd said.
Kidd also said she is thankful to be back at school for in-person learning, as it has allowed her to be more active both academically and in athletics. Kidd is embedded in the Lackey school community as the volleyball team captain, varsity cheerleader, CCASC present, environmental club president, Envirothon team captain, mock trial member, Indian Head Youth Advisory Council communications director, and co-founder of both the SunFlower Project Mentoring Program and Charles County Youth for Change.
Kidd said her senior year has been the most beneficial and she looks forward to graduating. Kidd plans to attend Duke University and study political science and business and management. “I am ecstatic to start my week as a page and know it will be a lifelong memory I shall cherish,” Kidd said.
Kornegay is a senior at St. Charles High School. She moved to Charles County during her junior year of high school and was concerned her senior year would not go as planned. Kornegay researched opportunities to meet people, joined school clubs and activities, and is having a successful senior year. She applied for the page program to learn more about government and politics, and also to network and meet people.
“I hope working as a page will allow me to make connections and create a support system of professionals moving forward. I also hope to gain professional skills I do not currently have,” Kornegay said.
Kornegay has her sights set on attending Hollins University in the fall and plans to study biology as a start on the path to attending medical school. She interviewed at Hollins for a full-ride scholarship and is hoping to hear back about her scholarship status next month.
Kornegay is the St. Charles student liaison to the Board of Education, a member of the school SGA, It’s Academic team and Model UN club, and serves as an officer in the St. Charles Marine Corps JROTC. She is a Coca-Cola scholarship semi-finalist, tutor outside of school, and has authored three books.