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Officer Jesenia Aguirre
Posted by Stephanie Fernandez on 3/20/2019 2:10:00 PM
Officer Jesenia Aguirre, the Skyview Campus School Resource Officer, has deep roots in Mapleton. She states that her favorite part of her job is "being a positive influence" on Mapleton's students.
Tell me about yourself.
A. I’ve lived in Colorado my whole life. I grew up in Adams County. I am the daughter of parents from Chihuahua, Mexico. My parents and my culture have definitely been a positive impact on my life and have made me who I am today.
Q. When did you attend Mapleton?
A. I’ve been in Mapleton since fourth grade. I was part of the last graduating class of Skyview High School back in 2007.
Q. How would you say your time at Mapleton prepared you for your career?
A. I always excelled academically, but my parents, being from Mexico, never really talked to me about college. My Mapleton post-secondary counselor guided me through FAFSA and helped me look into college options. Having the support to help me figure out what post-secondary options I had motivated me, but also showed me what I was capable of doing. I pursued my higher education at Regis University, where I received my bachelor’s degree in two and a half years. Thanks to Mapleton I was able to graduate high school with at least one year of college credit. This helped me graduate from Regis sooner, which was important because I didn’t have the financial means to pay for school. I tried to get it done as fast as I could. I graduated from Regis in 2010 with my bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a double minor in Psychology and Criminology.
Q. Who would you say has been one of your biggest influences?
A. There are deep roots in Mapleton. The support I received at Mapleton as a student has continued throughout my adult life. One person I am thankful for in particular is my mentor, Ms. Deb Engle. As my history and social studies teacher, she helped me succeed in school. When I started college, she served as a mentor with day-to-day support and advice. When I was pursuing my master’s degree, Ms. Engle not only went to my thesis presentation, she also helped me with research information to complete my thesis. For Ms. Engle, and for all other Mapleton staff who guided me, I am grateful.
Q. How did you become interested in the career you are currently in right now?
A. In 2011, I went back to Regis for my master’s degree in criminology. It was during that program that my professors would always ask me, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” My answer was always “I don’t know.” I knew I loved helping people. One professor convinced me to do a ride-along with the Denver Police Department. I loved it. Following my completion of my master’s degree from Regis in 2013, I applied for, and was accepted into, the Training Academy at Arapahoe Community College. I went to that part-time, simultaneously working as a caseworker for Jefferson County. I finished the training in May of 2014, having completed my Colorado Peace Officer Standards, and got hired on with the Thornton Police Department shortly after. I’ve been with Thornton Police ever since. I started as a patrol officer and worked that for about two-and-half years, and then became a School Resource Officer (SRO) for Mapleton’s Skyview Campus in 2017.
Q. What’s next for you?
A. Right now, I am still looking at being an SRO for a couple of years. I would really like to get to experience working in other units within the police department. My ultimate goal is to be a Commander or Deputy Chief with the Thornton Police Department.
Q. What do you love about your job?
A. My favorite part about this job is being a positive influence on students. It has always been very important to be a role model for Hispanics or even for minority females. It is really cool to be able to show other females that anything is possible. I also am grateful that I am able to help bridge that gap between law enforcement and the Hispanic community. I love being able to communicate and understand our parents, and also understand the younger generation.
Q. What is your favorite memory as an SRO?
A. My favorite memory has to be when I walked into Clayton one day during their lunch hour. About 15 kids, all at the same time, ran to me to hug me. It wasn’t a special occasion or anything. They just wanted to hug me. It was so sweet. There is a picture of it, and that is probably one of my favorite pictures. I try to visit Clayton students because they are younger, and I want to have that positive impact on them and really just to say 'hi.'
Another favorite thing of mine that happens frequently is driving through the community and having students yell, “Hi Officer Jes!” It’s a great feeling.
Q. What advice do you have for current Mapleton students on achieving their dreams?
A. Definitely just fight for your dream, regardless of what that is. Some of our dreams may seem to be too far-fetched, whether it is because of family struggles or financial issues. Even when things seem like they are unreachable and like you’re never going to get there, as long as you keep moving forward and keep your eyes on the goal, nothing should get in your way from achieving that.