Shalleria Reid '09
Bronx Community College ASAP '09
John Jay College '11, Criminal Justice major
What were your early impressions of ASAP, and how did they change over time?
When I entered ASAP I just wanted to get a degree and graduate. My expectation was that ASAP would allow me to pursue my education with limited boundaries, and I think I received all of that with only minor bumps in the road.
What was the most rewarding thing about being an ASAP student?
Being in ASAP allowed me to interact more with the other students in my classes because I tended to have a lot of classes with the same people. And because I got to spend a lot of time with the same people, I was able to improve my socialization skills.
Being an ASAP student also allowed me to thrive. The people I dealt with—my counselors and professors—pushed me a lot. When professors know you’re an ASAP student, they assume you have a set goal you’re trying to reach, and they push you more. In ASAP you’re not just another student.
What, in your opinion, makes ASAP unique?
ASAP is different because you have counselors to help you out. Other schools I’ve been to had nobody to assist me. Providing books and metro cards was also a plus, and many students have trouble affording those things, especially if they’re unemployed.
Looking back, how do you think that ASAP impacted your life?
I think ASAP really did impact my life because it allowed me to continue my education: because it defrayed costs I would’ve had to pay for, ASAP allowed me to go through my bachelor’s degree without having to take on a huge loan. If I had not been an ASAP student, I would’ve probably still graduated from Bronx Community College, but ASAP really did push me to continue my education afterwards.
What is one of the most memorable moments you had as an ASAP student?
My most rewarding memory was when I was given the "Most Outstanding Student Award" for my ASAP group. When I started school, I didn’t know where I was going to be at. I didn’t have someone to say they’d help me. I had to work while I was in ASAP. But through it all, the employment specialist, Kathleen (Betty) LaCadre, really was there for me, and she pushed me a lot, and helped me whenever I was down.
When I received the "Most Outstanding Student Award" I was so proud of myself because I really hadn’t had the same outside support that most of my classmates did. And the award gave me the drive to strive even more.
What are your career goals and/or future plans?
My short-term goal: take a year off, then go back to John Jay to earn a master’s degree. In five years I see myself in law school; in ten years, I see myself as a lawyer—a criminal lawyer, though I know people go into law school thinking they’ll do one kind of law and end up switching to another.