AGTS Student Spotlight: Jonathan Cantarero
Name: Jonathan Cantarero, BA, JD
Graduation Year: 2022 (expected)
Current Position: Assistant District Attorney, Manhattan District Attorney’s Office
City and State: New York, New York
Tell us about your career and what you do now.
I currently serve as a criminal appeals prosecutor, which means I brief and argue complex criminal cases covering a range of procedural and substantive legal issues in appellate courts. Aside from engaging in this cutting-edge legal work, one of most rewarding aspects of my job is the opportunity to mentor interns, law students, and paralegals in the office.
Beyond my professional work, I am deeply involved in my community. As a member of the AG’s Spanish Eastern District, I serve as a co-founder and volunteer of La Cosecha Community Center, a faith-based ministry that provides legal referrals, practical workshops, and music classes in the Long Island area. I also have the privilege of serving on the Board of Directors of the Central American Refugee Center (CARECEN-NY), which provides legal assistance to low-income immigrant households in New York. When I am not working on either of these projects, I enjoy teaching in the AG Spanish Eastern District’s bible institute. Just this past year, I helped launch an English-language program for second-general Hispanic Americans.
In short, whether it’s my professional work, church ministry, or community service, I take seriously the biblical mandate to serve others whenever possible.
What is your favorite memory so far from AGTS?
One of my favorite moments was telling a professor how I was using her teaching material in my own bible institute courses, and how my students were using that material in their respective ministries. My professor was overcome by the fact that her work at AGTS was having an impact a thousand miles away in New York, and in such a short timeframe!
How is AGTS helping you identify/develop your calling?
I knew God called me to be an educator since my teen years. While I have taught Sunday school ever since my youth, I knew the challenge of teaching at a bible institute would require more knowledge. I am happy to report that my time at AGTS has had an immediate impact on how I teach and minister to others, both inside and outside the classroom.
How is your experience at AGTS preparing you for life after graduation?
The quality of the education at AGTS has given me a strong foundation for my teaching ministry, which I hope to expand in the coming years. In that regard, several professors have been immensely helpful in guiding my decision to pursue a doctoral degree down the road. The fact that our faculty is so deeply connected within the Pentecostal scholarly community means that I am getting the best advice from experts in the field.
What advice would you give someone considering going back to school?
God works in mysterious ways. I attended seminary in-person once before and had to leave for personal reasons. Several years later, I am back in seminary as an online student and happier than ever. My advice to someone who is considering going back to school is to remember that it is never too late to follow God’s calling for your life. Embrace the experience because you never knew where God will take you.