(Acworth, Ga. – May 13, 2013) Recent Chattahoochee Technical College graduate Cynthia Jinks was nervous when she walked into her first class in 2010. However, the mother of five and grandmother has realized her dream of graduating when she received her Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice Technology just 2 and a half years after she began.
“I entered my first class with fear and reservation since I had been out of school since 1985,” said Jinks “I thought would struggle with college and be the oldest person in the classroom. I was right about one thing. I was one of the oldest, and pretty sure I was older than my algebra professor!”
Jinks, who lives with her family in Euharlee, was laid off from her job in the building industry after 15 years. It was then that she made the choice to do what she had always wanted to do – work in public safety. She is not sure what the future holds for her, but she is interested in pursuing a career in forensics or investigations. She’s also considering continuing her education at Kennesaw State University.
In addition to her husband, children, parents, sister, brother and other family, Jinks credits her decision to go back to school and finish to the encouragement and help of a best friend. She said she also found support from instructors, the community and the Chattahoochee Tech Foundation. Jinks is a two-time recipient of the Tara Drummond Scholarship. The scholarship was established by Tina and Brian Drummond in memory of their daughter who was accidentally shot and killed during firearms training just months after becoming a police officer.
After researching Tara Drummond, Jinks realized that she would be truly grateful to be able to fulfill her dream – and Tara’s – by completing the Criminal Justice Technology program at Chattahoochee Technical College. “What a truly beautiful girl Tara was,” Jinks said in a scholarship essay. “It is sad that she is not here today as I can see she would have been an amazing investigator. At 23 years old, she had already accomplished so much, and still can through the special people who will act as her teammates.”
As a tribute to the Tara Drummond, Jinks wore a small picture of the fallen police officer in her cap during the ceremony. She also spoke to Tina Drummond the night before the ceremony.
Jinks is one of 450 people graduating from Chattahoochee Technical College during the Spring 2013 ceremony. Her degree in Criminal Justice Technology is a popular choice with 368 students currently enrolled in the diploma or degree level studies. The program is the study of crime and the administration of justice involving law enforcement, courts, correctional institutions and juvenile systems. Classes focus on the understanding and application of legal concepts, investigative techniques, evidence collection and presentation, unique juvenile laws, crime prevention and the improvement of public safety. The program offers classes at multiple campuses and online.
“No matter what age someone is or what struggles you may have, push yourself,” Jinks said. “With all the resources out there today, there is no reason for anyone to say, ‘I want to go to college, but can’t.’ Chattahoochee Tech and all its financial and emotional support can help you make your dreams come true. I truly wished I would have done this after high school, but I am happy I can enjoy it now.”