Alexandra Brooks has blossomed into a leader at California University of Pennsylvania, where she is a member of the Board of Directors of the Student Association Inc. and president of the Student Government Association. She’s also a member of the Homecoming Committee and the Alcohol and Other Drugs Coalition, among other activities.
A criminal justice major, Brooks is working toward a career as a juvenile probation officer, and she dreams of someday running an outreach program for at-risk youths. To prepare, she volunteers with at-risk children in Monessen, helping with homework and more, as she draws on some difficult family experiences from her past to provide good advice to kids.
“You don’t have to repeat the cycle,” she says. “You can be that person who says, ‘Enough is enough; this isn’t what I want for my life.’ You can move past this."
As a criminal justice major, she needs a lot of different kinds of real-world experiences, and volunteering is a great way to achieve that, she says. Brooks also has volunteered with AmeriCorps, which provides service opportunities and helps students pay for school.
She credits Cal U for honing the skills she needs to succeed in the classroom and beyond. Her advice to other students?
“Get involved. Don’t discount any opportunity with things like clubs and organizations, because you never know how that might benefit you someday. Volunteer, even if you’re not sure, and even if it doesn't seem like something that is directly related to what you want to do as a career. You never know who will be on that committee or forum who may provide a great professional network.”