Pursuing her dream job

Former Questar III Criminal Justice student Meagan Pinkowski on the set of the Back to School Expo commercial.

Former Questar III Criminal Justice student Meagan Pinkowski on the set of the Back to School Expo commercial.

Since ninth grade Hudson native Meagan Pinkowski knew she wanted to go to college in hopes of one day getting a job in criminal forensics such as the ones you see in crime drama shows like CSI and Criminal Minds.

“I know the shows aren’t real,” said Pinkowski acknowledging the often unrealistic dramatization we’re used to seeing on television. “But I really like what they do and I want to help people.”

Pinkowski will attend Schenectady County Community College starting this month, double majoring in Science and Criminal Justice. She said her enrollment during her high school junior and senior year in the Questar III BOCES Criminal Justice program prepared her for this chapter of her education and the next step to her dream job.

The Questar III Criminal Justice Program involves elements of both law enforcement and science. It involves classroom instruction, field trips and meetings with professionals in the field. Students are also eligible for college credit at participating schools.

Pinkowski said she enjoyed the project-based learning including fingerprinting. “I liked that what we were learning was hands on, not simply reading out of text books.”

Pinkowski was also president of Questar III’s Columbia-Greene Educational Center SkillsUSA chapter, part of the nationwide career and technical education (CTE) student organization that serves students in technical, skilled, and service occupation instructional programs. Here she gained additional hands on experience participating in mock crime scene competitions and honing her leadership skills.

She was also awarded a scholarship for her volunteer work with SkillsUSA and Friends of Rachel, an anti-bullying club.

Pinkowski recommends the Questar III Criminal Justice program for those interested in the subject matter as well as those planning to continue their education.  “The program really helps prepare you for college.”

For more information about the Questar III Criminal Justice program, visit http://www.questar.org/education/career-tech-ed/criminaljustice.php.