At Meredith, Jennifer Garcia, ’19, worked toward her longtime aspiration to become an attorney. She's now attending law school at Campbell University, and her varied experiences at Meredith prepared her for this next step.
“I plan to specialize in immigration law. As an attorney I also hope to empower young Latinas to pursue the profession, as I’ve learned that Latinas account for less than two percent of the lawyers in the U.S.,” said Jennifer, an Honors student who majored in business administration and political science with a pre-law concentration.
Jennifer’s undergraduate research project in political science explored the campaigning methods of Latinos in Congress, focusing on whether or not these candidates stress their identity as Latinos during their campaigns.
“My research fueled my passion to empower other young Latinas to be bolder and take greater risks because we need more representation, not only in Congress, but in the professional realm overall,” Jennifer said.
At Meredith, Jennifer saw the importance of positive role models through the example of Assistant Professor of Political Science Whitney Ross Manzo.
“Dr. Manzo was not only my adviser, but a teacher, mentor, and friend. Dr. Manzo serves as an exemplary leader as a woman that I looked up to in all of my four years because of her professionalism, passion, and ingenuity. Her passion for the discipline radiates from her,” Jennifer said. “Dr. Manzo serves as the epitome of what Meredith encompasses in terms of intention and empowerment for the well-being of her students.”
Jennifer’s undergraduate research project provided many opportunities to practice her presentation skills. She presented the research at the N.C. Political Science Association’s annual meeting and at the Midwest Political Science Association Annual Conference in Chicago. Finally, she shared her work on campus during Celebrating Student Achievement Day.
Serving on the Honor Council at Meredith also helped build skills needed for her future career.
“Working on a team of other representatives, officers, and staff has really improved my collaboration skills. What sets our Honor Council apart from many others is our mission to help each student in the best way possible, focusing on a constructive model, rather than a punishment model,” said Jennifer. “My critical thinking skills have definitely been expanded because we tailor each case outcome specifically to each student to improve her educational and social experience here at Meredith.”
Jennifer supplemented her on-campus experiences with numerous internships. She worked with the Wake County Public Defender’s office, at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s General Counsel’s office in Washington, D.C., for two summers, and at the N.C. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
“My experiences at Meredith shaped me to become a stronger, confident woman and professional,” Jennifer said. “Meredith allowed me to not only identify my strengths, but also to use these strengths in every opportunity I’ve been given.”
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