09:21 AM

Dual student experience 'phenomenal' at STC

Student of the Week: Nicole Regalado

Coming from a family of six, Nicole Regalado says everything she does is to make her family proud.

Nicole, 18, is currently a dual student at Mission Veterans Memorial High School and will be graduating with an associate degree in Criminal Justice from South Texas College this May.

“It feels amazing to say that I will be graduating college before high school and I'm really grateful for this opportunity,” Nicole said. “I've always been a super curious person, and I feel that that is what has led me to aspire to work in the field of criminal justice.

“I want to make a difference in people’s lives, and this is why I’m pursuing a degree in this field,” she said.

The Dual Enrollment Criminal Justice Academy (DECJA) is a two year-round dual enrollment program developed for high school juniors and seniors of the Starr County and Pecan Campus area who are seriously interested in pursuing a career in criminal justice.

The program has the support of local law enforcement professionals who participate in efforts to provide students with information on the educational and personal preparation required for success.

“My experience as a dual student at STC has been phenomenal,” Nicole said. “I have gotten to experience what it's like to be in an actual college class with a real college professor. It's nothing like taking a college class at the high school. Being in this program has taught me so many things. I am much more mature, I've learned better time-management, I've learned what it's like to be independent.

STC Student of the Week Nicole Regalado
 “It feels amazing to say that I will be graduating college before high school and I'm really grateful for this opportunity."
STC Student of the Week Nicole Regalado

“In college, your success is all up to you, if you want to succeed you got to do that on your own,” she said. “This experience is something I will treasure forever.”

Looking ahead to the future, Nicole said she was accepted to over 10 different universities including UTRGV, St. Mary’s, St. Edwards, UT-Austin, Texas State University, UTSA, and Texas A&M but is still undecided.

She has recently been offered a $48,000 scholarship to attend St. Edwards and a $64,000 scholarship to attend St. Mary’s in the fall.

After graduation she wants to pursue a bachelor degree in Psychology or Criminology with the hopes of entering a career as a criminologist, forensic scientist, FBI agent or intelligence analyst.

“To students going down the same path, I promise your sacrifices will pay off,” Nicole said. “I want to thank anyone who has taken part in my success and has pushed me to the fullest of my potential including, teachers, counselors, friends, and family. Thank you! Someday, hopefully I can return the favor and encouragement. Thank you, South Texas College, for these amazing opportunities and this recognition, I am forever grateful.”