Criminal Justice grad dedicated to community service
You might not think that being a communicator and organizer has much to do with the world of criminal justice and corrections, but Jessica Segura would strongly disagree. The recent Ontario campus Criminal Justice: Corrections program graduate plans to bring a little dignity and order to communities she serves through the bonds that come from talking things through and working together for common good.
It is not her 19-year-old idealism, but six-plus years of intense experience preparing for and working events and volunteering time and talent toward that end that molds her philosophy.
“I’ve been involved in community service since I was around thirteen,” says Jessica, who as a young teen became a member of her San Bernardino High School’s Renaissance Club. “I was there every day to help out with special ed students.”
Jessica had found her niche, and gave her support in any way she could. “Once I knew I could help other people and make them happy, it made me happy and I kept going.”
Jessica continued her volunteerism throughout high school. She joined clubs that benefitted from her fundraising and event planning skills for their community service activities. Jessica was honing her skills and leadership potential.
As a high school senior, Jessica was not sure what career direction she would take. “I am a girl who loves to do paperwork and be physically active,” she admits.
SJVC’s high school rep visited her school one day and talked about the Criminal Justice program. “Once they told me about all the activities they (CJ program cadets) did, knowing how active I am, I thought it would be a very good way to continue my community service.”
Jessica enrolled and gave her all to the Criminal Justice: Corrections program, as well as many school clubs and organizations. She not only made the Dean’s List and Perfect Attendance consistently, she earned the National Correctional Peace Officer Association recognition, the Seal of Bi-literacy and a P.C. 832 Firearms Completion Certificate.
She was also a Mentoring program and Orientation volunteer, and CJ Club president. Jessica organized a fundraiser for pancreatic cancer patient, Elena Martinez, recruiting many volunteers to help raise $10,000.
“Jessica is a student who epitomizes and goes beyond the selfless spirit required to work in the Criminal Justice field,” says Douglas Paris, Criminal Justice: Corrections instructor. “She has displayed a keen sense of responsibility as the CJ Club President, in classroom leadership roles, as well as academic efforts.”
Jessica thrived in the disciplined classroom environment. “I wasn’t expecting the academy to be so strict,” she offers. “To me, it was how the real Police Department (academy) would be, and I liked people being strict. It was nice and organized; more real and hands-on.”
Jessica plans to pull all of these elements together when she is finally able to become a police officer. Most state and county hiring practices will not allow her to fulfill that goal until she is 21.
Meanwhile, she can work in security, jailer positions and community service venues that benefit from her Criminal Justice: Corrections program education.
“The idea of being a police officer is providing help to people,” says Jessica. “It’s just a continuation of the community service I love to do. It is something I enjoy and want to do for the rest of my life.”
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