With Commencement just around the corner, future High Point University graduates are already preparing to commence prestigious career paths around the world at Fortune 500 companies, international service programs, public school systems, top-tier law, medical and graduate school programs, and many other esteemed organizations thanks to their journey at HPU. Here’s a glimpse of one extraordinary senior from the Class of 2020:
Name: Aurora Jaques
Hometown: Irvine, California
Post-graduation plans: Jaques will be attending the University of North Carolina School of Law in Chapel Hill to pursue her Juris Doctor Degree.
How HPU helped you get there: “High Point University offered me a myriad of opportunities that prepared me for law school. The summer of my sophomore year, I conducted undergraduate research with Dr. Dearden in the Criminal Justice Department. Myself and other students conducted interviews with inmates and detention officers at Guilford County Correctional Center to study the use of educational tablets in jails and their effect on recidivism. Through my research, I developed crucial critical thinking skills that prepared me for my summer internship the following year, where I was the sole strategic research intern for the Institute for Justice in Arlington, Virginia. These opportunities prepared me for integral application requirements for law school, especially the LSAT, and contributed to some of my scholarships at UNC. I used the Office of Career and Professional Development to meet with my career advisor, Dr. Doug Hall, to review my personal statement, an important part of the application packet law schools require. Dr. Hall was incredible at providing feedback on my personal statement and has been invested in my journey to choose a law school.”
Most impactful mentor at HPU: “Dr. Scott Ingram has been my most impactful mentor at HPU. As one of the Pre-Law track advisors, Dr. Ingram was more than willing to answer all of my questions regarding law schools and the application process. I also had the privilege of taking multiple courses with Dr. Ingram, including Criminal Law and Mock Trial, both of which I am confident prepared me well for law school.”
Most impactful moment at HPU: “Although it has become overwhelmingly clear law school is the next step in my journey to pursue a career in social and criminal justice; this was not always the case. I walked onto campus my freshman year as an exercise science major, on the pre-physician assistant track. Although I loved my science classes, I simply wasn’t as passionate about those classes as I was with my first-year seminar, which was specifically for Bonner Leaders. As a Bonner Leader who interacts with the community, I realized my passion for helping others and through work with my success coach, I was encouraged to take courses in sociology and criminal justice to explore those passions from an academic perspective. The flexibility to take those classes prompted a major change which set me on the trajectory I find myself today.”
Advice for underclassmen: “I would tell underclassmen to read more. To truly hone in on what you might be passionate about, pick up a book and start there. Throughout my journey, I’ve been prone to feel like I was the only one who was interested in criminal justice reform. That was until I stepped into a book store and was confronted with an entire section of dedicated authors who were doing important work and writing about it. Pick up a book and see where it takes you; you might just find a new career path.”