As a first-generation college student studying criminal justice at Arizona State University (ASU), Tempe JAG Alum Cindy Badillo attributes her success to her JAG coordinator’s unwavering support.
“My coordinator, Mrs. Moulton, was the reason I loved going to JAG. She had an energy that was worth coming to school on days when I didn’t want to come to school or when I was having bad days,” Badillo said. “She opened a lot of doors for me and helped me see things differently in such a short amount of time.”
In addition to the support Mrs. Moulton provided as a mentor, Badillo found the employer engagement opportunities beneficial for defining her career pathway. Each JAG program hosts several guest speaking presentations and college/employer tours to supplement the state-wide JAG events held throughout the year.
“As high school students, a lot of my classmates were fast-food workers, so we didn’t have that professional outlook,” she said. “A lot of us were really excited because there was the opportunity to have more direct access to opportunities through JAG since the employers they partner with are looking for JAG students to hire.”
For one of the career tours, Badillo’s JAG class visited a hospital to learn more about the medical field as a potential career pathway. While she originally debated whether to pursue a career in medicine or a career in criminal justice, this experience informed her decision to pursue her passion for working with women and children through the Special Victims Unit.
Her JAG coordinator also encouraged her to apply for scholarships to alleviate the cost of her postsecondary education. The scholarship application process can be emotionally draining and time consuming for some, and for Badillo, it seemed like an undertaking with little to no reward. After receiving more encouragement from Mrs. Moulton, she decided to apply to the Dougherty Foundation scholarship.
“I felt that I would never receive a scholarship. I can apply to them, but I thought that I wouldn’t ever get anything,” she said. “Then I received one through JAG and that motivated me to keep applying to more! Once I saw that the money was there and it was real – it’s just a different feeling and you just want to keep applying!”
Badillo ultimately received the Dougherty Foundation scholarship and several other scholarships through Arizona Community Foundation (ACF) to support her college education.
Reflecting upon her time in JAG and her career path now, she is grateful for her professional growth and her coordinator’s support every step of the way.
“Mrs. Moulton guided me and provided me with aid on many questions I had for my first months of being a freshman at ASU,” Badillo said. “She never turned her back on me and was the first person that allowed me to see the beauty of education and what an educator is, and what it feels like to be recognized, cared for and genuinely loved.”
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