by Gabriel Cantu
Growing up, my family and I moved along the coast as my father worked in the petrochemical refinery industry. I was born in Brownsville Texas, then moved to Victoria, and finally Baytown Texas where I completed Junior High and High School. Growing up I was very active in athletics and martial arts which led to me taking an interest in sports science and kinesiology, which was my initial major once moving to San Antonio and attending UTSA. As time went by I was drawn to the daily occurrences of crime in our city and around the country. The many situations and circumstances that law enforcement would find themselves became very intriguing to me and led to a change in what I wanted to pursue as a career. Of the many criminal justice courses that I studied, I was most drawn to corrections and reintegration. I believe that all should have the opportunity to make a change in their lives once provided with the right programs and services.
Having the passion to help others pursue change, I applied to intern at Bexar County Juvenile Probation. It was very rewarding, as I got hands on experience in assisting seasoned Juvenile Probation Officers supervise, counsel, and promote a positive influence through various programs.
The opportunity of being a Criminal Justice major at UTSA was one that I will never forget. Each staff member and professor that I was fortunate enough to learn from provided me the desire and willingness to learn as much as I could
Graduating in the fall of 2018 was one of my many goals in life. My next goal was to be given the opportunity to apply the skills that I gained as a student at UTSA, College of Public Policy. In the spring of 2019, I reached that goal. I applied and was hired for the position of District Parole Officer for the state of Texas. Part of the process included a six-week Parole Officer Training Academy. The process was demanding and not all that started the academy would go on to finish. I graduated from the academy on August 14, 2019 and now work at the San Antonio I District Parole Office.
My advice to all College of Public Policy students is simple. Stay focused on the goal, chip away at it little by little, and never give up!