For the Recorder
Anne-Laure DelCerro grew up in Paris, France and moved to the U.S. when she was 17. She visited many community colleges in New York State before she found Fulton-Montgomery Community College to be her perfect fit. She studied criminal justice and found a mentor in Associate Professor Paul Giudilli.
"Mr. Giudilli is very passionate about what he does and was always an example of success for me," says Anne-Laure. "He was very patient when I had difficulties; especially during my first semester in the U.S. He had been a successful member of a law enforcement agency and I wanted to have a similar career. I wanted to wake up every morning knowing my work would impact my community in a positive way."
Anne-Laure went on to earn both a B.A. (named valedictorian of her class) and M.A. in Criminal Justice from University at Albany. A few months after earning her Master's degree, she was hired as a Crime Intelligence Analyst and recently, was promoted to Senior Crime Analyst-IT Coordinator at the Albany Crime Analysis Center (ACAC). The ACAC is staffed with crime analysts along with sworn members of the Albany Police Department, Albany County Sheriff's Office, Albany County Probation Department, and the New York State Police.
"I believe that crime analysis is essential to law enforcement agencies," says Anne-Laure. "I am trying to make a difference in this world and I will be happy wherever life takes me as long as I can help others."
Helping others is not only a big part of Anne-Laure's professional life, but also a part of who she is as a person. If ever she is given the opportunity to talk to students about earning a criminal justice degree, or any degree for that matter, she would help them understand the importance of education and the value of community colleges.
"Community colleges are a terrific way to continue your higher education; they are in close geographical proximity to local towns and cities, and the cost to attend is very affordable. Many students spend a lot of money at four-year colleges without having a final goal in mind; I believe that the financial strain is not necessary," states Anne-Laure. "Studying at F-M was perfect for me. It was the best way to be introduced to college life. The faculty and staff have time to assist you; they can help you make the right decisions if you do not know which major best suits you. You can take a variety of courses and find what really interests you.
I also believe that the Criminal Justice program at F-M completely prepared me for my third and fourth years at UAlbany. I had all the knowledge necessary to transfer, and contrary to the majority of other criminal justice students at UAlbany, I had studied my first two years in a loving environment knowing my professors had my best interest at heart. I am truly thankful to have attended F-M and believe that people who criticize community colleges simply have not attended one! As hard as I think about it, I cannot name one disadvantage to attending a community college. I advise anyone looking to pursue a degree to always consider a community college first."
Amy Radik is the Coordinator of Public Relations & Marketing at F-MCC.