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Dual Masters Criminal Justice, Public Admin.

April 14, 2013

Leaving Albania at only 13 was a sea change in my lifetime. Now, 11 years later, at the age of 24, I feel convinced that my own immigrant existence, replete with its myriad challenges, was an excellent testing ground and preparation for working as a professional in the criminal justice system. As a celebrant of diversity, and the beauty and wholesomeness of a multi-cultural and multi-lingual society—I feel well equipped by my historical background for working in highly effective ways with all sectors of American society. I have become a thoroughly acculturated Albanian-Bostonian woman and I share New England’s liberal passion for a humane criminal justice, and immigration systems.

 I have sensed for some time that the fields of Criminal Justice and Public Administration are where I want to make my mark in my professional life, and this has a great deal to do with why I chose Political Science as my undergraduate major. I happily look forward to studying about all areas of criminal justice, especially as it relates to immigration, but I am most interested in the government sector, particularly the areas of Homeland Security and International Relations. I also enjoy learning about different historical forms of government and legal systems. My review of graduate programs in the area that I want to study has left me with the conviction that I am an especially good fit with your program.

 I am particularly interested in doing research in the area of Homeland Security, the ongoing task of immigration enforcement and reform; and I hope to someday be able to make a contribution to the process of naturalization through the implementation of a more streamlined legalization structure that facilitates the attainment of legal residency and eventual citizenship for qualified undocumented workers. Within a few years of completing your program, it is my hope to find a professional position with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services, as a US consular officer, perhaps in a US embassy. Albania, of course, would be ideal, since I speak the language. Thinking along these lines from an early age, I have thrived on the cultivation of language as power and potential, and I am proficient in both Italian and Spanish, reading and writing both quite well (my speaking skills need practice). 

I volunteered for the Obama Campaign and have helped the Democratic Union several times. Especially salient among my relevant experiences was serving as an intern for U.S. Congressman XXXX. I was also the President of Students for Gary Peters, as well as the Event Coordinator of the Albanian-American Student Organization at XXXX University. I see myself as very strong and capable; I am a hardworking individual and perhaps even an over achiever. I love helping people and sometimes find it hard to say no to people. I have been working since I was 13 years old; thus I know the value of hard work. I spent many months working 13 hour shifts 7 days a week to build up a restaurant business that largely supports my family. We are currently selling the business so that I can again devote myself to full time study.  Coming of age in a society that sees itself as sharing one planet, we all become potentially stronger in the pursuit of our dreams. I owe much to my mother for instilling me with the desire to succeed professionally. Throughout of all my accomplishments and disappointments, I have been extremely fortunate to have someone like her at my side to guide and push me on the journey to success. Despite my high level of preparation and my mother’s support, for the first couple of years of my undergraduate experience, I was still uncertain as to which professional direction to follow.  During a career orientation session, however, I found myself interested in Law but not especially enthused about the prospect of becoming an attorney. After consulting with guidance counselors, I chose Political Science as my major because I thought that it represented of the leading backgrounds for a lifetime of public service.

 During my college years, I was able to vastly improve my leadership and interpersonal skills working with a variety of international student organizations as well as political campaigns and organizations; and I had the privilege of fulfilling an internship helping various organizations to work together for progressive change, especially with respect to our environment. My dynamic communication skills and very high level of motivation have led me to become a leader on several student groups and to help them to have an impact on political campaigns and enhanced relations with the general public. A proactive person; I have a passion for perfection and devote myself to constant learning from every experience and continuously working to better understand the complexities of social and bureaucratic organization. As a first-generation immigrant myself, and someone who has been profoundly influenced by this experience, I long to be part of the ongoing struggle for immigration reform along progressive lines. Attending XXXX University will help me achieve my goals of furthering my education so that I will be able to make my maximum contribution to society as a public administration professional. And I thank you for consideration of my application.

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