Jessica was nominated by her senior advisor, Mrs. Cassidy, who commended Jessica on her dedication to family and schoolwork. On top of her responsibilities at home and school, Jessica has been actively involved in the LAPD cadet training program, which demands much of Jessica’s time. The program intensely challenges participates both academically and physically. The cadets are required to pass a physical training test, and classes including criminal law, public speaking and conflict resolution.
Jessica graduated from the academy earlier this year and will continue to pursue her career as an FBI agent in the LA Police Department.
You can view the South Bay Magazine
’s “19 Under 19” issue here
Below are excerpts from Jessica Rojas’ interview with South Bay Magazine.
What’s it like being a young person in 2017?
There are lots of expectations on the teenagers of my generation. But I’d have to say that it depends where you come from. For me it has been a rollercoaster only because I have put so much pressure on myself. Other than that, I think that we have had it easy, especially with all this new technology.
Your proudest accomplishment:
My proudest accomplishment this year would have to be completing the LAPD 18-week program. The day of graduation, I felt that I had accomplished something that I thought I couldn’t, and I did. Every Saturday morning I would have to wake up at five in the morning, just to get ready for the rest of the day. I would not come back until four in the afternoon. There were many times I was just too tired to wake up, but I kept pushing because I believed in myself and I needed to prove myself right. That I could accomplish anything I would put my mind into. I even won a medal for Most Inspirational. As tired as I was, I always put my best self out there. The day of graduation, I felt as if I could accomplish anything. There was a lady who had come up to me and said, “I can tell you are so proud of yourself, I can see it in your eyes.”
Person you admire most (living or deceased):
There are two important people in my life who I admire. And those two people would have to be my parents. They are both very humble and have done so much for my brothers
What’s your most prized possession?
My family. It might not be something materialistic, but I know that if I would ever lose any of them, I would be lost, and there would be no way of getting them back.
What are your aspirations for the future?
I would want to be a forensic anthropologist and one day be an FBI agent. I know that what I see on television is nothing like in real life. But I have been always curious. When I was little, I would always pretend to be a detective and figure out whose footprint was left on the door. After my 18-week program with LAPD Cadets, I learned that with enough determination, I will able to reach my aspirations.
Which person or people inspire your greatness?
My family, knowing that they have worked too hard makes me want to work twice as hard. Starting with my father, who came to the U.S. to give his family a better life and education. His American Dream has been for all his children to become something of themselves. And for his American dream to be accomplished I need to help finish it. In his eyes, I am his American Dream. And by doing my best I will not only complete his, but I will have started mine.
One difference you’d like to make while on this earth:
Once I am financially stable I would like to give back to LA Challenge. It’s an organization that helps low income student attend private schools. One that I have been a part of since seventh grade. I would like to help in the same way others have helped me. Giving back to the community that has gotten me this far in life. Just as how I went back to an afterschool program called Step-Up. An afterschool program where students are tutored and mentored. One that I was also a part of. There I met this wonderful little girl who had just arrived from Mexico. She reminded me of myself when I was her age. She was so eager to learn English, that it made me feel good. I knew that with lots of practice, she was going to be able to speak and write in English.