TWC: Profiles In Success
As the English say, “The proof is in the pudding.” The success Anna Maria College has in educating, nurturing and mentoring students who are indeed ready for the ‘real’ world upon graduation is manifested in the multitudinous success stories of our Criminal Justice and Law and Society students, especially those who participated in the Washington Center Internship Program in Washington, D.C. Our graduated students have secured positions in local and state police, The International Police Organization (INTERPOL), the U.S. Immigration and Customs Service (ICE), the U.S. Marshal Service, and the U.S. Secret Service within short order after graduating from the college. And at a time when Millennials are finding it difficult to secure jobs in their respective fields, this is especially noteworthy.
One of our graduates, Thanasi Christoforou, Class of 2014, has been working at INTERPOL for the past two years in Washington, D.C. He will soon begin a new position at the Department of Homeland Security. Thanasi is the son of immigrant parents from Greece. He is the first member of his family to graduate from college. Thanasi credits the mentoring he received from his professors at Anna Maria and his Washington Center internship experience as the critical factors in determining his current career path. He stated, “I knew from a young age that I wanted to be involved in law enforcement in some capacity. Like most who wanted to enter law enforcement, my first area of interest was to become a police officer but that changed when I interned in The Washington Center (TWC) program in the fall semester 2012 where I was an intern on site at INTERPOL-Washington. At that time, I was exposed to federal law enforcement in the center of government--Washington, D.C. and became truly fascinated with the hard work and determination the different federal law enforcement agencies do to protect our country. I knew immediately that I wanted to be apart of this effort and that public service was exactly what I wanted to do. Without Anna Maria College, I know that none of this would have been possible. It was professors at AMC that introduced me to the Washington Center program. In fact, I still remember exactly how it all happened. I remember sitting in one of my classes at Anna Maria during my sophomore year and overhearing a professor talking about the program. I was instantly sold on the program and began asking questions right away. My experience at AMC has truly been the perfect blend of classroom and real world experience. I want to be able to inspire others to achieve things that they never thought possible and to be with them along their journeys as a helping hand in anyway that I can. Moreover, I have learned over the course of my experiences that there are a number of qualities that a member of law enforcement must possess: A member of law enforcement must have integrity, a steadfast work ethic, a commitment to continuing education/training, a well-spring of compassion for others from various backgrounds and, lastly, an optimistic attitude. These are traits that were imbedded into me all thanks to AMC and it has now come full circle.”
Another graduate, Timothy Ray, Class of 2014, has been working for the Montgomery County Government, Department of Police for the past two years. Tim reports that he is very happy with his current position. He credits much of his success to the education he received at Anna Maria College and the experience of the Washington Center Internship Program that the college enthusiastically supports. He stated, “I had such great professors and I had so much support. I am so grateful for the support and experiences I had both at school and here in D.C. when I was an intern. It changed my life.” Tim continues to support the current Anna Maria students (especially those who are interning in Washington, D.C.) by his regular offers of help and assistance. Tim stated that he wants to give back to the college community.
Victor Sambola, Class of 2015, is working in federal law enforcement for the Department of Homeland Security in Washington, D.C. Like Thanasi Christoforou, Victor is the son of immigrant parents. In fact, he received his American citizenship just one day before he assumed the position. Victor also credits his professors at Anna Maria and his internship experience in D.C. for helping him to secure his current position. He stated, “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for my professors at Anna Maria and the Washington Center. I am so grateful for the whole experience – both at the college and in D.C. when I was an intern at the Washington Center. And I am also grateful for all of the help and guidance I got along the way.”
Not only have Thanasi, Timothy and Victor distinguished themselves in their respective careers, but they continue to distinguish themselves as impressive human beings in their generosity, support and overall goodwill to the students at Anna Maria College and the interns we send to Washington, D.C. They are grateful for their educational and professional experiences and they want to pay it forward. Our students at Anna Maria will continue to reap the benefits of such favor. And as a professor and liaison to the Washington Center Internship Program, I continue to feel proud of and grateful for our graduates.
As Ben Franklin said, “Well done is better than well said.” At Anna Maria College, we focus on getting the job, as it were, done and done well. And we have the pudding to prove it!