Delgado = Your Success

Thawanda represents one of the strongest programs for the West Bank Campus and is an amazing example of resiliency and focus. In spite of her personal struggles of learning to walk again after a heat stroke and being a single mother of three, she is determined to be a role model for her children and the youth of New Orleans. She chose to study criminal justice because she wants to make a difference in the criminal justice system. She plans to encourage young people who have chosen the wrong path that regardless of their past and current situations, they can still turn their lives around.

Why did you choose criminal justice?

I always had a passion for criminal justice, but my main purpose is to target the youth and give them a sense of direction. I want to get to the youth before the police.

Why did you choose Delgado?

Delgado has the hours that accommodate my schedule.

What were you doing before you attended Delgado?

Before I attended Delgado I was working in the hotel industry, but it was just a job. My reason for enrolling in Delgado is that I wanted a career. I wanted something that I can call a career path—something I enjoy.

You mentioned before that you had some health challenges and that you were a single parent. Would you like to share that story with us?

Well, two years ago I had a heat stroke and I had to learn to gain muscle control, to walk again, to do any kind of motor skills. It was a challenge, but I overcame it. I am a single parent of three children—7, 10 and 16 years old—but I don’t let that hold me back. That's actually my motivation for going forward. I came back to school for them—to teach them that it does not matter what your circumstances are.

What do you like most about Delgado?

It would have to be the professors. They are willing to work with you. They are always there for you if you have any questions. The classes are small so the professor has more time to be direct with you.

When you think about Delgado what comes to your mind?

Progress. I think I'm making a difference in my life. Delgado is a stepping stone to my success.

Are you involved in any other activities at the school?

Yes, a terrorism program that Criminal Justice Professor Dr. Hippensteel came up with two years ago. It's basically information on terrorism. It makes you more aware of terrorism that's really going on. So we get together and we prepare articles, videos, and we do scrapbooks. Every Friday we videotape ourselves doing speeches on certain books we have read about terrorism. We just want the school to know that terrorism does exist and not to stereotype people based on what you see in the media.

What is one of your most memorable experiences at the school?

It may seem small to other people but to me, it was when my professor Dr. Hippensteel pulled me on the side—and it was no more than two or three minutes—and said, “I see great potential in you and all you need to do is apply your learning skills to be the best that you can be.”

Ultimately, what do you want out of life?

Ultimately, my goal is to be a youth counselor in the criminal justice system.

How does Delgado play a role in your future goals?

Delgado plays a major role because here I am getting what I need to get in criminal justice with my associate's degree to transfer over to SUNO (Southern University at New Orleans) to get my bachelor's degree. Delgado is connected with SUNO for the “2+2” program; that's why I am going there.

Why do you think you should be the face of Delgado?

Because I represent leadership. I have learned great leadership under my professor’s tutelage. So I want to be able to instill that in the next person who might not have that aspiration or might need help going forward. I want to be that person that can say ‘you can do it despite your situation or despite what you are going through.’ Overcome your problems; don’t let your problems overcome you.

What do you do in your spare time?

I spend time with my kids, but I spend extra time with my 16-year-old boy. We go to the library and read. I get my nails done—girly stuff.

Is there anything you want to share with the students coming up behind you?

I would just say to anyone coming after me not to give up. Trust in your professors at Delgado. They want the best for you. They are there for you and they care for you. This may seem like a community college but you are not treated like that. They treat you like you are on a university campus.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

I just want to encourage just one person to attend Delgado because it is never too late to enroll into college.


If you would like to contact Thawanda to learn more about her student success, email her at


Potential earnings for Thawanda include: working in corrections, law enforcement and legal assisting

What probation officers and correctional treatment specialists do
Probation officers supervise people who have been placed on probation. They work to ensure that offenders are not endangering the community and to help in their rehabilitation. Probation officers write reports that detail offenders’ treatment plans and their progress since they were put on probation.

What sectors do probation officers work in
In 2010, nearly all probation officers and correctional treatment specialists worked for either state or local governments:

State government


Local government


Social assistance


Nursing and residential care facilities


Job outlook
Employment of probation officers and correctional treatment specialists is expected to grow by 18 percent from 2010 to 2020. In addition to openings resulting from growth, many openings will be created by the need to replace large numbers of these workers expected to retire in the coming years. .

The median annual wage of probation officers and correctional treatment specialists was $47,200 in May 2010. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $30,920, and the top 10 percent earned more than $80,750.

*Source- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

The Associate of Arts (A.A.) Degree in Criminal Justice prepares students whose career interests are in law enforcement, law, and corrections. The Criminal Justice Program provides preparation for direct entry into the workforce, for transfer to four-year colleges, and for professional advancement. Click here to view the programs in our online catalog.