Student Stories: Angelica Rossi

Angelica Rossi


Major: Justice Studies

Although Angelica Rossi always had an interest in criminal justice, she thought she wanted to become a doctor.

She came to College of DuPage and earned an Associate in Science before transferring to pursue her bachelor’s degree. But her plans changed when she realized science was not her passion.

“I had to be honest with myself about what I enjoyed and what I did not within my education and potential career path,” she said. “I decided I wanted to enjoy my education instead of struggling to get through subjects I did not care for. I finally settled on seeking a degree in Justice Studies, and I am so happy with my decision as I think it is what I was meant to do all along.

“You might say I had a front row seat observing the criminal and social justice system at an early age. My dad, who has been diagnosed as schizophrenic, was incarcerated when I was 6 and imprisoned for 10 years. My older brother and I have lived with and been loved and cared for by my paternal grandparents since we were toddlers. My family has supported and encouraged my education goals every step of the way.” 

Rossi returned to COD because of its Justice Studies 3+1 bachelor’s degree program with Lewis University, in which upper-level courses are taught by Lewis faculty on COD’s campus. 

“COD is helping me toward meeting by goals by putting me into contact with various professionals who aid you in furthering your education and career,” she said. “COD is helping me save a ton of money so I can save for my future education in graduate school. COD is also helping me reach my personal goals by having the opportunity to participate in field studies, engage with my community and simply enjoy my education.”

While at COD, Rossi earned the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship from the College of DuPage Foundation.

“The MLK Scholarship means a lot to me as I highly respect Martin Luther King Jr. and his ideals. MLK has impacted my perceptions and motivations in my educational and career goals in order to be a voice for others and do the right thing,” she said. “This scholarship from the COD Foundation is helping me financially by lowering the cost of tuition, which is allowing me to continue saving money toward my future educational goal to attend graduate school.” 

In earning her second degree at COD, an Associate in Arts, Rossi was named one of the College’s Outstanding Graduate finalists. Her goals are to earn a master’s degree and ultimately make executive decisions within the correctional system that focus on in-depth rehabilitation services for inmates. 

Her advice for students is to follow their true passions and make the most of their education. They also should look at everything COD has to offer and consider how much money would be saved in the long run. 

“When I was in high school, I had a very skewed perception of what COD was and what it was like. Many people I knew had the idea that a community college is ‘beneath’ a university and was where ‘failures’ went to pursue an education they were not serious about,” she said. “This is far from the truth. Once I visited COD on a high school field trip, I fell in love. I did not realize all of the possibilities COD had to offer. Not only is COD an amazing financial decision but it also is a great place for your education and future career as you learn a lot, meet many people who help you along the way, and are taught by highly intelligent and respected professors. COD was a great option for me as I could continue working, have an easy commute and pick courses that fit my schedule and lifestyle.”