Stefany Henriquez ’18 developed an interest in law and criminal justice at a young age. As the daughter of police officers, she grew up listening to the stories her parents would tell about their careers in law enforcement while the family lived in El Salvador.
After emigrating to the United States with her family in 1999, Henriquez, a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) student, settled in Brentwood, New York.
After graduating high school, she received a full academic scholarship to SJC and began pursuing her dreams as a political science major with a minor in criminal justice at SJC Long Island.
I want to continue to grow and become a U.S. citizen who works hard just like everyone else, while helping rehabilitate people and watching them become successful, too.”
“With the current state of affairs in the country, I think it is important to see that immigrant children are living the American dream and making the best of it,” Henriquez said. “Being a DACA student has helped me grow and strive to work hard for my education.”
As an SJC student, she takes advantage of every opportunity available to her. Henriquez has gained valuable experience during internships with Suffolk County Legislator Monica R. Martinez’s office, the Justice Policy Institute in Washington, D.C., the Legal Aid Society in Queens and Univision Communications, Inc., in New York City. In 2016, she was awarded a scholarship that allowed her to live on Capitol Hill for five months experiencing a politician’s life.
“I went to the White House, Maryland and Virginia caucuses, and different embassies,” Henriquez said. “While I was there, I also attended George Mason University and participated in the Justice Policy Institute’s making of Defining Violence, a nationwide report that focused on racial disparities within prisons and jails all throughout the U.S.”
After returning from D.C., Henriquez spent her summer with the Legal Aid Society, helping locate witnesses, conducting interviews, reviewing crime scenes and assisting lawyers with their cases. In addition to her extensive internship experiences, Henriquez was selected by Stephen Rockwell, Ph.D., professor of political science at SJC, to attend the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, where she worked with news anchors, covered protests and interviewed politicians.
After her expected spring 2018 graduation, Henriquez aspires to attend law school and work as a lobbyist or at a think tank. Most recently, she applied to the Harvard TRIALS program and a law program at Florida State University.
“I think that there is so much work to be done,” Henriquez said. “I want to continue to grow and become a U.S. citizen who works hard just like everyone else, while helping rehabilitate people and watching them become successful, too.”