Current TRIO SSS (Student Support Services) Scholar, Cristy Huiracocha ’17 recently began an exclusive internship with the Bloomfield Police Department.
The TRIO SSS-Star Program’s focus is to empower Bloomfield College undergraduate students enrolled in the SSS Program to develop the skills necessary to graduate college. Services include individualized academic coaching, educational workshops, financial literacy support and an array of academic resources.
A graduate of Bloomfield High School, Huiracocha chose to attend Bloomfield College to study Criminal Justice and Sociology because it was close to the home she shares with her parents and her son. A commuter student, she lives within walking distance to the College.
Huiracocha reached out to Yanett Bagce, Director of the TRIO SSS-STAR, for help landing the police department internship. The Bloomfield College TRIO SSS-STAR Program is funded by the United States Department of Education to serve 160 undergraduate students at the College each year.
“I’ve learned to push myself at Bloomfield College, beyond what I thought I could. Education is not a priority for a lot of people I know, but that gives me motivation, I am proud of myself,” said Huiracocha. “If it wasn’t for Yanett [Bagce] in my corner, I wouldn’t have gotten this internship.”
Huiracocha will be reporting to the Police Director for her daily assignments this semester, working a total of about 92 hours to satisfy the internship requirement of her major. This will be the third internship Huiracocha has had while balancing her academics, work, and single parenting. Previously, she interned as a Safety Range Officer and Essex County Police Academy in Cedar Grove as well as attained a “confidential” job she cannot discuss openly through her connections with the College.
A mother by the age of 16, Huiracocha’s parents help her tremendously, caring for her son when she is in class or at work.
“If it wasn’t for my parents, I probably wouldn’t be in college because, to me, it was never an option,” expressed Huiracocha, who currently holds over a 3.5 GPA. “They encouraged college. My parents are always there pushing me and helping me with my son.”
Most college students are struggling with completing their bachelor’s degrees in four or five years. However, with the support of her family and the Bloomfield College community, when Huiracocha graduates this May, she will have spent just three years attaining her bachelor’s degree.
“Earning your degree is not for anyone else, it’s for yourself,” she advised. “It’ll pay off for you, no matter how hard it is…it will be worth it.”
Huiracocha plans to earn her master’s degree at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She hopes to work for the U.S. Department of Justice and become an FBI or CSI (crime scene investigator) agent one day.