Mark is a 4th year recipient of a Jeremy Care Scholarship. He attends Michigan State University where he is studying criminal justice. He has managed to remain on the Deans list every single semester. He was elected by his peers to serve as a Risk Manager and serve on the Standards Board for eta Psi.
When asked how the pandemic has impcted him, this was Mark’s response.
“As the world is still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, one word has become synonymous with this period: uncertainty. That uncertainty plays apart in each person’s life whether it be from an academic standpoint, financial standpoint, or even career related it has affected everyone throughout the world in various ways. Personally, this pandemic has affected me in terms of my mental health and career plans because it has caused me to become more mature and go through a discernment process with my future career.
I am a criminal justice major in my third year of college and my career goals have shifted since my first year. Initially, I had the intent of joining the police force or the FBI in some capacity upon graduating from Michigan State University. I though that I had my entire career path set because I wanted to be able to have a direct say in the criminal justice process and aid in ensuring people who commit crimes receive the justice they deserve. However, once the pandemic went into full swing in March of 2020, times changed not only with the government imposing restrictions to stop the spread of COVID-19, but with my mental well-being. The times of having fun and living a normal life were gone and as such I had to grow and develop in my own way.
During this time of government restrictions, I was isolated from my new friends in college, and it led to a lot of personal growth as it allowed me to focus more on my academics. I paid closer attention to the material that I was learning about and eventually learned the true nature of police work and how dirty it can be. I realized that I did not want my career to be one where I am an active agent in causing more issues to the complex beast that is the criminal justice system, nor did I want my morals to be compromised by being in such a line of work. As a result, I had to search other avenues within the field of criminal justice in order to achieve my goals of ensuring that criminals receive not only the justice that they deserve, but justice that will issued in a fair and equitable manner. My discernment eventually led me to the court system as I felt this is where my abilities and goals will be best achieved and aided in guided me to a calling to law school.
My freshman year self would think that I was crazy for deciding to go to law school because it is a huge time and financial commitment, but after going through the courses at Michigan State and knowing what I know this is the best route for me to pursue. I also want to challenge my abilities because I have done well academically and want to use this knowledge to pursue a higher learning degree to ensure that not only the offender receives the justice that they deserve, but the victims receive the justice as well. While I do not know currently what area of law I wish to study, that is a continued part of this discernment process as well as the fact that these are still uncertain times.”
We are so excited for your future Mark!