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"Whether through juvenile justice or family law, I will always be involved in improving the lives of disadvantaged children."
Honors in the Major, Criminology
"Helping children is a big piece of my heart," says GinaMarie Killeen. And her Criminology major enables her to do just that—by learning how to "keep them out of trouble and choose the right path in life, not the life of a criminal."
This Irish-Italian from the New York-New Jersey area says she "truly enjoys not only attending classes but engaging myself in them." She is carrying two minors—Sociology and English. Every semester of her attendance she's appeared on either the Dean's or the President's List, and she is a member of several honor societies. But recently she began to partake in Honors in the Major, what she considers to be "a major academic step."
She began her research last summer through a Directed Independent Study, for which she wrote "a literary review on technology education and mentoring." This semester she is "writing a proposal for an action-research project based on an innovative approach to technology education for at-risk youth, those who probably have a few deviant acts under their belts and who need some guidance."
She explains, "The International Baccalaureate students—the 'gifted' students—of Rickards High School will take part in an after-school program involving the school's less-privileged students. With University students serving as mentors, the students will learn how to create movies and music videos. By creating positive interaction between the students and using state-of-the-art technology creatively, there should be an increase in self-esteem and higher grades, particularly for the at-risk kids."
Her thesis defense will take place this summer. "I look forward to making a difference by implementing this program. More than just 'graduating with Honors,' I would like to make a positive impact on children who need it the most." Gina finds community service to be "quite therapeutic. By helping others, you feel better about yourself and your own life."
After graduation, she will take the LSAT. Gina says, "I consider myself a city girl and always dreamed of attending law school in New York City. Whether through juvenile justice or family law, I will always be involved in improving the lives of disadvantaged children."