IS FRONT PAGE:

Student Locks Down Future in Law Enforcement

Sometimes we get the most out of life by not helping ourselves but by helping others.  It is that motto that makes Alyssa Long, a criminal justice major, excited about getting her associate’s degree at North Central State College.

As a single mom and a full-time employee at the Crawford County Jail, she is well aware that life does not always go as planned. “Life got complicated once I had my daughter,” Long explains.  “But at 26 years old, I decided to go back to school.”

“I was a toddler when my mom also got her associate degree at NC State College,” Long said.  “My mom brought me to class a couple of times because she needed to and the professors got me crayons and stuff to do to keep me occupied.  The professors did everything they could to keep my mom going, and I appreciate and remember what they did for us.”

Long chose the online criminal justice degree.  “North Central State College was the right track for me to take,” she said.  “I was looking at graduation rates and saw how excellent they are here.”  In addition, that is where Long has her eyes, on the prize, to graduation.

However, that is not the only goal she has in sight.  She is passionate about helping others and has experience working with human trafficking victims.  Long wants to make a difference in the community.  “Right now there are so many young teens in Richland County that are known runaways.  However, it’s important for law enforcement to look into human trafficking as well.  It’s real and I want to help be a part of the solution,” Long admits.

Long credits instructor, Anne Strouth for helping her along the way.  “I found the job I currently have at the jail because Anne posted it.  They needed two females and I was chosen as one of them,” she said.  “The classes that really opened my eyes were the juvenile delinquency and family violence classes.  At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if it’s child abuse, sexual abuse, or physical abuse.  It  normally steams from the same type of environment.”

Long continues to be an advocate for those who need it.  She will graduate in May 2020.

Criminal Justice