College: John Jay College of Criminal Justice
NYNY Internships: Legal Information for Families Today, Edison Learning, John Jay McNair Program and Pinkerton Community Fellows
I am a New York Apple – Georgia Peach hybrid with aspirations of becoming wonder woman. I was born and raised in a low-income neighborhood in Poughkeepsie, NY where success and prosperity are masked by endemic teen pregnancy and drug abuse. This is an easy place to fall victim to peer pressure, and if I hadn’t moved to Marietta, GA, I am certain that with the struggles I encountered during my high school years, I would have ended up a victim myself. My move to Georgia revealed to me that I don’t have to live bound to my community, but I do have the option to return and help. I can be productive and make an impact as a first-generation American, but I have to put in the work to do it. I call myself a hybrid because my experiences in both New York and Georgia have shaped me into a wonder woman in the making.
When I say wonder woman, I mean it literally. I want to be known for fighting for justice and accepted as a community symbol of tenacity. My career goal is to help reduce recidivism crime rates in low-income neighborhoods. To reach this goal, I hope to gain a deep working knowledge of psychology, anthropology and sociology so that I can better understand the issues that plague low-income communities. I have lived in these communities my entire life, and I want to help break the criminal cycle: commit a crime, go to jail, get out of jail, return to the same community, become trapped by an unhealthy environment, commit another crime. I would work with my community and help my neighbors make positive, rational, “future-focused” goals and decisions. My life goal is to help these communities strive for a greater sense of unity along with personal and communal growth for current and future generations. .
I have always feared that my education and success would cause me to be rejected by the people I will serve. However, in the first NYNY session, my Mentor told me that unless I purposely try, I will never lose my original “neighborhood self”. My newly minted “educated self” will never dominate but rather complement my “neighborhood self”. Since that first workshop, I have been learning to improve my writing to be more formal, my speech to be more eloquent, and my vocabulary to increase my worldliness. I can honestly say that in the past four sessions, I have learned how to enhance my two “selves”. My mentor’s simple advice will shape the future interactions I will have in the communities I will eventually serve. Although we just began our workshops, I already imagine my potential as a truly effective, eloquent, confident, and competent leader.