I am currently an undergraduate student at American University majoring in Justice, Law, & Criminology (JLC) and a Certificate in Advanced Leadership Studies. I was born and raised on Long Island, New York and then moved to Cornelius, North Carolina at age thirteen. I went to Lake Norman Charter High School where I played varsity lacrosse and varsity basketball for four years and was a captain for two. I was also a member of National Honor Society, National Science Honor Society, Key Club, and Outdoors Club. Since coming to college, I have honed in on my passions for criminal justice, LGBTQ+ rights, prisoner’s rights, mental health awareness, among others while developing the skills I’ll need for a career in law.
Throughout my time at AU, I have taken advantage of many opportunities to grow as both an individual and a leader. Within the SPA Leadership Program, I served as a first-year teaching assistant my sophomore year, was then chosen to serve as the Program’s youngest-ever Student Co-Director my junior year, and I now currently serve as a second-year teaching assistant in my senior year. Within the larger AU community, I was a Peer Mentor for the Complex Problems Program. This program is designed to introduce first-year students to a variety of controversial issues and how to effectively conduct research, communicate, and utilize critical thinking. I was a Peer Mentor for the course “13 Going on 30: But Only Legally” – a class that discussed the juvenile justice system and the waiver process into the adult system. Additionally, I was a Desk Receptionist for the Housing and Dining Program at American University where I was able to familiarize myself with campus resources and help direct students to them and be further involved on campus aside from academics. I am also a member of Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Fraternity which heightens my excitement for a career in law by surrounding myself with like-minded students working towards a similar goal. This experience and campus involvement led me to be nominated to serve on AU’s Conduct Council throughout my final year at AU. As a Council member, I listen to various cases and Title IX appeals to determine whether someone is found responsible for a conduct violation or not, and if so, suggest sanctions when necessary. I am honored to have this opportunity as I am able to provide a student voice to the three-person panel consisting of a faculty member and staff member, and I am also able to ensure both the fairness and safety of my peers.
I have also taken my strengths and skills off-campus. The summer after my sophomore year I was a criminal justice intern at the Kings County District Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn, New York. While working there, I furthered my interest in legal studies by reviewing cold case paperwork in preparation for trial, listened and transcribed Rikers Island Jail calls for cases, reviewed DNA studies, summarized case law, attended meetings with outside city agencies, and worked on Continuing Legal Education program. I went to court numerous times to watch attorneys at trial and to shadow a New York State Supreme Court Judge and see what it’s like to be a judge for a day. To further understand my interests and prepare for my career, I decided not to limit myself to one focus and interned at the Public Defender Service of Washington DC during the spring of my junior year.
At the Public Defender Service, I was partnered directly with various staff attorneys to complete various investigative tasks and advocate for clients. Some of the tasks I performed were interviewing witnesses, visiting the DC jail to speak with clients, taking statements, writing investigative memos, and testifying at court about the work I did on a case. This experience was both invigorating and enlightening as I developed a deeper interest in the legal field and spent time in the DC community that I have called home for several years now.
Throughout the years I have acquired and strengthened the skills of communication, professionalism, organization, determination, and collaboration. I have also acquired several other important skills such as computer skills (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Adobe Photoshop, and WordPress), Lifeguard certification, and CPR/AED certification.
Though I have been keeping busy, I make sure I practice self-care and save time for leisure. Studying in Washington D.C is an extraordinary experience and I like to spend free time visiting different museums and places in the city. In my free time, I also enjoy reading, listening to music, watching television, and going to the dog park with a lovely Pitbull named Scout.
Upon completion of undergrad, my goal is to attend law school. After that, my goal is to be successful, enjoy my career, and make an impact on the legal field and my community.