Giovanna Salazar

Dallas College ​student and hopeful future border patrol officer

“I really fell into studying Criminal Justice. It wasn’t my first choice — I had originally picked marketing but with the recession had to revamp my career plans. My mom’s a legal secretary and my stepdad’s an attorney, so I thought, ‘Why not Criminal Justice?’ Then in the first year, I discovered I really liked it.

“I like that my professors don’t just have academic knowledge but have a working background in all different fields. It brings more interest to our classes and we get to have a much better idea of what we’ll be up against in the future in our careers.

“My career dream? I want to go into Border Patrol — there aren’t enough women in it now. There’s a lot of backlog in immigration processing, which interests me. I do need to learn more Spanish — even though I’m Hispanic, I’m not perfectly fluent because my mom emphasized English when I was growing up. I’m going to work on that, though.

“There are so many career avenues in criminal justice — it’s not just about becoming a police officer. I’m very detail-oriented and I think I’ll be able to be successful on the job.”

As of the end of May 2011, Giovanna Salazar will have earned an Associate in Arts degree with a field of study in Criminal Justice. She plans to transfer to Texas Woman’s University to earn a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.