Alexis Glass says she knew always knew what she wanted to do in life.
“I decided I would be a deputy or correctional officer after seeing things on TV and hearing about it on TV,” she says.
She applied for a scholarship from the Virginia Sheriffs’ Institute in 2016 to pursue her career. She met with Sheriff Gabe Morgan to talk about her plans and get his letter of recommendation.
The Old Dominion University student was thrilled when she learned she’d been awarded a scholarship. That money helped pay her tuition, but it has paid dividends beyond that. She just completed an internship at the Newport News Sheriff’s Office. The experience has made her re-think how she could best make a difference in the lives of others.
“I’ve changed direction. I want to be a substance abuse counselor.”
Working with the professionals in NNSO’s Community Outreach bureau, she got involved with the Crossroads program. Seeing inmates change during the 22-week program cemented her desire to help people.
“Really seeing how drug and alcohol abusers can overcome their situation and go into recovery and be helped. I’ve seen the paths people have been on that brought them to this situation, what has influenced them to use drugs and alcohol. A lot of them explained, you know, talked about stress, not having enough money, not having people there to support them.”
“With this internship, I’ve definitely learned that with recovery, you have to have a really good support system.”
Glass says it’s been an eye-opening and humbling experience.
“You get different opinions and comments about the jail system. I feel like you don’t really understand and know until you’re actually in there and you’re actually working with the individuals who are actually incarcerated.”
She’s waiting to hear whether she’ll receive one of the 2017 VSI scholarships.
“I’m very grateful to have the VSI scholarship. It’s given me insight into the criminal justice system, what it means to me and how I can help the criminal justice system.”
Glass plans to go to Richmond after graduation to work with substance abuse counselors or corrections counselors to help adults or youngsters in the juvenile system. She may end up in Delaware, where many of her friends live, to pursue a master’s degree in sociology.