Congratulations to Emily Prashad '21
NEW YORK, NY, UNITED STATES
Homeland Security Investigations Explorer Post 601
Congratulations to our Captain and Commanding Officer, Emily Prashad, a Class of 2021 graduate from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, the City University of New York. She received a Bachelor's Degree in Forensic Psychology with minors in Criminology and Cyber-Crime.
As an undergraduate, Prashad was involved in the Forensic Science Society as a Vice President and a Student Academic Success Programs (SASP) Peer Success Coach at John Jay. Prashad talked about her experiences of warm support and memories and the struggles she faced at John Jay.
"People always say that college will be remembered as some of the best years of your life, and while I do think that is true, my college experience definitely had its ups and downs," Prashad said. "My time at John Jay was definitely amazing, and I wouldn’t change any of it. I took some amazing classes with wonderful professors, which helped me get a better understanding of what I wanted to do in the future. I also created some amazing memories of exploring the city, trying new things, and making lifelong friends. John Jay was a wonderful college community and created an environment where you felt safe and supported, and there was always someone to turn to if you ever needed help."
"However, while I did enjoy my college experience, there were definitely some obstacles. I came into John Jay with a year's worth of credits so, and I was in a gray area of listening to a system that stated that I was technically a sophomore, but I was seen as a freshman in every other regard. I also had trouble making new friends, and I struggled with finding my sense of belonging. Furthermore, one of the biggest obstacles I had to face was switching to online schooling my senior year because of the Covid-19 pandemic. John Jay is a wonderful school, and while I did enjoy my time there, one major obstacle I faced was finding a sense of belonging."
"Luckily, I eventually ended up landing two jobs (one retail position and one as a Peer Success Coach at my school), and I was also lucky enough to become a part of HSI Explorer Post 601. Landing two working positions allowed me to establish a sense of independence that I felt I needed. I was able to gain work experience and understand what it felt like to work in an environment that felt supportive and connected. Obtaining my job as a Peer Success Coach really changed my college experience for the better. Through that job, I finally felt like I had found my place at John Jay. I worked with an incredible team doing a job I loved (mentoring incoming freshman students in their academic journey). The experience I got from working with an amazing team and meeting new and interesting students every semester is something I will always cherish because it taught me so much. Being a Peer Success Coach not only taught me great professional skills, but it helped me understand that it’s okay to make mistakes, it’s okay to have bad days as long as we can still appreciate the good, and that it’s okay to step out of your comfort zone. Those are lessons that I carried with me throughout my college experience, and I continue to carry them today. There was a point in my college experience where I realized I needed to stop living for the expectations that other people had for me and rather live for myself. I realized I needed to do something for myself, and joining HSI Explorer Post 601 was that “something.”
Prashad joined HSI Explorer Post 601 in 2019 as an Explorer, later ranking up to a Sergeant, Lieutenant, and now Captain and Commanding Officer. She delegates responsibilities and directs Post activities and events.
"In the two years that I have been with this program, I have come to have nothing but so much love and respect for this post and everyone in it. Being an Explorer has taught me so much and gave me so much to look forward to in terms of my future. I was able to explore my skills as a leader by quickly moving up through the ranks, earning positions as a Sergeant, Lieutenant, and now Captain. I was also able to trust in my organizational skills by holding other responsibilities such as keeping track of supplies and inventory. This post has been like a second home, and attending the meetings on Friday was the release from the stress I needed at the end of each week, especially when I was a full-time student working two part-time jobs. I am incredibly lucky to have found a family within these amazing individuals. Being a part of this group and the love and support that is shared each and every day is something that is so incredibly special. I have learned tools, skills, and lifelong lessons I will always carry with me. I created friendships and memories that I will always hold in my heart, and they have given me confidence, motivation and have seen the utmost potential in me even when I couldn’t see it in myself. This post has not only helped me navigate my way through college but also life. I am so incredibly grateful that I was given the opportunity to be an HSI Explorer. The experiences I had with two jobs and being a part of HSI Explorer Post 601 changed my college experience in the best way possible."
"Having these opportunities and the guidance I received from the people I met along the way kept me grounded, especially through the difficulties of online learning. Having to sit through virtual schooling was not how I imagined my senior year of college. While some may think that online schooling is easier than in-person learning, that was not the case for me. Dealing with the struggle of online schooling in a pandemic was definitely one of the hardest things I had to go through. As someone who enjoys in-person learning and going out exploring or trying new things, the switch to online learning and being confined to the same space for days on end was very challenging. I experienced a lot of hardships mentally, emotionally, and physically. There were times I was overwhelmed, stressed, and dealt with having to catch up with school work and a lack of motivation, which was very uncharacteristic for me."
"If I didn’t have people like my family, friends, colleagues, peers, and programs like HSI Explorer Post 601 to support me the way they did, I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish everything that I have so far. Therefore, despite all adversities, I was able to work hard and remain dedicated as I graduated in three years while maintaining a remarkable academic record. Even though I didn’t get to walk across a stage, I got to celebrate this milestone with people that I love, and that’s all that matters. College allowed me to grow as a person and come to a place where I am proud of everything that I have accomplished so far. There were definitely times, especially in this past year, where my motivation and belief in myself wore thin. If it wasn’t for the love and support of my family, and friends, and guidance of mentors, colleagues, and peers that I met along the way, I wouldn’t have been able to make it this far. In the three years I attended John Jay, I met so many incredible people and had so many wonderful experiences that have shaped me into the person I am today. John Jay has pushed me out of my comfort zone and gave me space where I felt comfortable to try new things even if I made some mistakes along the way. My time at John Jay was filled with amazing memories and experiences I will carry with me forever."
Prashad is planning to apply to graduate school and pursue a Master's Degree in the Spring semester. She is exploring her options and further her experience in career interests while taking some time off school. Prashad has aspirations to become a mental health counselor but would still like to be involved in law enforcement, possibly working with victims or juveniles.
"I do want to thank my family, friends, HSI Explorer Post 601, colleagues, and mentors for helping me achieve everything I have so far and for their continued support, love, and guidance as I continue my journey."