The Universities at Shady Grove (USG) is a second home to me, and if I were to explain all the positive experiences the campus provided me, this blog post would go on forever. So, I will limit the list of my positive experiences to just a few.
First, I received a quality education through the University of Maryland, College Park’s Criminology and Criminal Justice (CCJS) program at USG which enhanced my passion for juvenile justice. The classes I took on juvenile delinquency, criminal investigations, domestic violence, and many others, provided me with a practical and theoretical framework of the criminal justice system. I thoroughly enjoyed my program not only because the material was intriguing, but because I was learning from local defense attorneys, prosecutors, and law enforcement officers; all of whom helped me develop my own understanding of what justice is.
Second, as a former undergraduate student and current graduate student, I understand the stress that comes along with academics. But in the moments when things got challenging, I found comfort in knowing I was not alone. My study squad in undergrad were there to lean on for support, study sessions in the library, and most importantly, encouragement. But it was not just the friends in my program that provided this support. My peers in other programs and I would send each other internships and job postings related to our respective fields of interest. Now, USG is not solely a place to take classes and leave. No, USG is a place where my friends and I stayed late on campus to attend events (with free food!). USG is a place where students celebrate diversity at events such as International Night and give back to the community by volunteering at mobile market food distribution events. USG helped me develop lifelong relationships and a community right here in Montgomery County.
Lastly, and most importantly, USG gave me the opportunity to become a leader as a Student Ambassador, a role that I came back to hold now as a graduate student. As someone who once feared public speaking, I now find myself standing before large groups at events, such as the USG Open House, and giving tours of the campus. I watch as parents grin when they learn about the wide range of scholarship opportunities that are available for students. I get to see students’ eyes light up as they learn about their programs, student life, and begin to envision themselves at USG. These are experiences that make me feel fulfilled, knowing that I am able to help students for whom college may have once seemed far-fetched, with the realization that their dreams can be achieved. I can attest there is no greater feeling than this.
Now, there is so much more that I could say about USG, but I had promised to keep this short. I am glad to be back at USG and learn with and from my social work classmates and professors who are passionate about social justice and dedicated to creating positive change in Maryland. USG has created a community that cares. A community that students each day get to walk into where they feel valued, supported, and a part of a family. USG to me, and to many students, is more than just a campus. USG is home.
The USG Open House will provide high school through graduate-level attendees a chance to explore all degree programs offered at USG from our 9 partner universities, as well as learn about scholarships, take campus tours, explore student life, and get customized next steps. More information and registration can be found at shadygrove.umd.edu/openhouse.
About Millicent Sasu
Millicent Sasu graduated from Clarksburg High School in 2016, obtained her Associates degree from Montgomery College in 2018, and attended the University of Maryland, College Park at USG where she graduated in May 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice. Currently, she is a dual JD/MSW student, entering her second year at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law and completing the first year of her Masters in Social Work (MSW) program with the University of Maryland, Baltimore at USG. She plans on pursuing a career as a juvenile defense attorney and supporting children and families impacted by the criminal justice system.