School of Public Affairs
Bachelor of Arts
PUBLIC SERVICE FOCUS
I wanted a degree that allowed me to work in public service, but wasn’t sure of the exact direction when I enrolled. Because there’s flexibility in the programs at the University of Colorado Denver, I was able to segue from the Business School into the School of Public Affairs.
My goal is to work within the juvenile justice system. Advocating for the rights of crime victims, helping victims to get services and access resources—it’s really gratifying to see a case all the way through. The juvenile system is focused on rehabilitation and I know that I can help make an impact.
I did an internship with the office of the Denver district attorney. Working in the courts where law enforcement integrates with the legal criminal justice system provided an excellent environment for putting my education into practice. In one situation, a student had robbed another juvenile. After the system process was over, they truly forgave each other and shook hands. I was able to see the benefits of the rehab program and its potential to change lives for the better.
My friends got internships at the Denver medical examiner’s office, the Denver and Aurora police departments, in immigrations and customs enforcement agencies—there are many resources for internships and networking. There are also internships that can take you to cities such as Washington, D.C., or New York; I feel that my background will be adaptable.
UCD has a tight-knit community, and it’s easy to get involved with academic activities. Through the criminal justice program, we were able to tour the Colorado Bureau of Investigations, the FBI and Saint Vincent’s children’s school. The faculty at School of Public Affairs have all been not only well-qualified but also are passionate about what they teach. Originally, I was at a larger university where many classes were taught by graduate students. When I transferred to UCD, it was refreshing to be in classes taught by experienced professors.
My advice to other students is to immerse yourself in the school community and utilize your teachers as resources. Get to know them, attend anything and everything you can—I gained so much from all the seminars continually being hosted on campus. I truly feel that I made the right decision with my degree and my university choices.