April 29, 2020

Century College Alum Jennifer Rodriguez has always had a strong desire to help others.   Originally from El Salvador, Jennifer came to the US at the age of 11.  She saw a lot of gang violence there, and was particularly affected by the plight of orphaned children and children whose parents are in jail. 

She’s also had an enduring curiosity about people, their motivations, and the reasons behind why they do what they do.  And she is particularly fascinated with the underlying reasons behind addiction.  

When she first came to Century College, she majored in Addiction Counseling, but then switched to Psychology.  “I enjoyed all of my Psychology classes,” Jennifer remembers. “All of my teachers were open to questions, and they were available whenever I needed help.”

An Affordable Path to a Future Career

Jennifer had heard about Century College from her friends, and enrolled because the College was both affordable and close to home.  She found many resources to help fund her education, including an Alliss Grant. “Century College has a lot of programs and help when it comes to paying for school.  I was able to graduate with no debt,” Jennifer adds.   

Easy Transfer to a Four-Year College

Jennifer earned a Mental and Behavioral Health Worker Certificate at Century, and then completed her Psychology Transfer Pathway AA degree, which enabled an easy transfer to Metro State University.  She is completing her first year there and is working as a Mental Health Assistant at Touchstone Mental Health in Minneapolis.  “My training in mental health allowed me to understand my psychology classes better, ” Jennifer says. “And I continue to make use of what I learned in class in my current job.”   

Future Plans

Jennifer will continue with her education until she receives her Masters degree, and plans to work in the field of Marriage and Family Counseling.  Her long-term goal is to use her compassion, knowledge and skills to open a group home for children whose lives have been affected by violence and poverty.  “My training has never been more important than now, particularly working with vulnerable adults during the pandemic. Fortunately, my education at Century College has provided a good foundation for my personal and professional growth.”

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