Student Spotlight: Christi Rocha
Major: Human Services
When Christi Rocha returned to college, she entered the Criminal Justice program at College of DuPage.
But she knew that wasn’t the perfect fit, as she wanted to help individuals rather than put them behind bars. Her Criminal Justice professor understood this and told her about COD’s Human Services program.
“I have always helped people throughout my life,” she said. “When I started working on my Human Services degree, I knew this is what I wanted to do. I wanted to work in rehabilitation.”
Rocha graduated with her Human Services Generalist associate’s degree. She was hired by Leyden Family Service and Mental Health Center, where she completed her internship, and initially worked as its benefits specialist before being promoted to Senior Citizens Program and Benefits Assistance Program Supervisor. She has a team of four people that continues to help individuals navigate government benefits, such as Medicaid, Medicare, LIHEAP, SANP, Extra Help, Medicare Savings Program and Benefits Access.
“In the last year, our program has helped thousands of seniors, persons with disabilities and low income individuals,” she said. “I also recently became a certified SHIP Coordinator (Senior Health Insurance Program) and am trained to assist seniors and persons with disabilities navigate the Medicare system.”
Rocha continues to pursue even more goals. She completed the Addictions Counseling associate’s degree at COD, finished an internship at Share and is currently in the Social Work program at Governors State University, which she plans to complete in 2015. Eventually she would like to earn her master’s degree in Social Work and become a licensed clinical alcohol and drug counselor.
She thanks College of DuPage for the thorough education and training she needed to start her career.
“COD helped me understand this field,” she said. “The faculty prepared me to go straight into the workforce. I will admit I was a little scared, but I continue to look back at the education and training I received from COD’s Human Services program and continue to apply that to my work. I’m grateful for all the opportunities that my education has given me.”
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