Maria Victoria Lopez is a Criminal Justice major with a minor in Business Administration. This interview was taken during her junior year at the Manhattan Campus.
What made you want to transfer to Manhattan campus? My first year of college was at Rockland campus. I always wanted to go away and dorm. However, I realized at the end of my freshman year that I was not obtaining good opportunities when it came to my major. I decided to pray about the transfer and I officially decided to transfer to Nyack College in the city. The community in Manhattan is very welcoming. As soon as I entered Nyack College in Manhattan I felt such a welcoming and comforting presence.
God truly began to open doors for me not just academically with internships but spiritually as well with ministries. In my home ministry I am one of the worship leaders, the Girls ministry which I am one of the teachers for girls ages 4 & 5, and I’m also part of the Bronx Section Fire Team and worship team. I’m active in all with the exception of the Girls ministry. Right now I have taken a pause due to my classes and timing conflicts.
What interested you about your major? I began to look into Criminal Justice during my last year of high school. I took a Criminal Justice course in Lehman College and ever since then my whole mindset just wanted to focus on the idea of justice and law. I began to love and admire the rules and regulations of different states. I realized we are the ones that make an impact in this world. I believe we need more Christian individuals who want to make a change in this world.
What do you want to do with Criminal Justice? My options are opened on what exactly I want to do with a Criminal Justice degree. But I think I want to pursue the Law industry and attend law school. In my perspective, I believe that the justice system will always be corrupt but when one enters into the law system with good intentions one can make a positive impact.
What is it like studying Criminal Justice at a Christian college? How does Nyack provide a Christian worldview within your major? Criminal Justice is not an easy major to take up. Many people will make the assumption that being a Christian and trying to become a lawyer, prosecutor, police officer, etc., can isolate you from your relationship with Christ. However, this is a false assumption. My perspective is that if one is saved and they are daily and consistently buildinthat relationshipip with God it will be very hard for anyone or anything to break that apart.
Nyack College has helped me view the different perspectives and decisions made by a Christian who has a law mindset. Although it can be difficult, Nyack College helps me evaluate my decisions as a Christian and my decisions as one who wants to pursue law. Nyack helps me combine them.
What internships or experiences have you had that are related to your major? Can you tell us about that experience? One of the internships that I have had was the Cadets program, which is known as a program that can develop your skills to become an officer. The cadets program is basically a program for students who are attending a 4 year college . It gives you the opportunity to socialize with officers, work in a precinct, and it holds you a spot in the Police enforcement for when you graduate from college. Then all that’s left to do is revise documentation and go straight into police training.
Can you tell us about your background? What is your family like? Where are you from?
I was born and raised in Aguadilla Puerto Rico. When I turned 6 years old I moved from Puerto Rico to Upstate New York, then New Jersey and now the Bronx. I’ve been living in the Bronx for a good amount of years now. I truly love my family. I live with my mother and I have three older brothers that I look up to. I am very blessed for the family that I have. They have always supported me, loved me, cared for me, and motivated me.