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Ariadna Benitez ‘08

 

Ariadna Benitez ‘08

ariadna benitez2Ariadna Benitez ’08 (Central Falls High School) graduated from Salve Regina University in 2012 with a B.A. in Administration of Justice, a minor in Psychology, and a concentration in Juvenile Justice. “At first, I considered majoring in psychology because I enjoyed learning about mental health disorders and behaviors,” says Ariadna. “I loved being able to understand the different approaches and theories in psychology. I knew I wanted to become a counselor at that point, but I was also in search of something more. Luckily I had the opportunity to meet the Administration of Justice Department chairwoman, Dr. Hoffmann, during my freshman introductory courses, and she happened to also be my academic advisor. Soon after, I discovered I truly enjoyed every course the Administration of Justice Department offered, as well as the professors. I decided to major in ADJ with a concentration in juvenile justice to advocate and counsel troubled/at-risk youth in the justice system.”

In the future, Ariadna plans to pursue her Masters in Social Work at Bridgewater State University. “I am really looking forward to working as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker to be able to counsel youth/adults in a criminal justice setting,” she says.

Ever since the moment when she made her career decision, Ariadna has been deeply involved in reaching out to families and youth. “During my time at Salve Regina, I became the Coordinator of a tutoring program held at the Rhode Island Training School and worked as a Residential Counselor for Child and Family in Newport,” she says. “After graduation, I was employed with the Key Program in Providence and worked with at-risk youth and troubled families in the system. I am now working as a Family Service Provider at South Bay Mental Health in Massachusetts. I assist a clinical team with providing therapeutic training and support services for families and youth, including therapeutic mentoring services. I have truly enjoyed every position I have held working with families and youth,” she adds. “I love being able to help and support families and overall make a difference in people’s lives. It is an extremely rewarding field and I enjoy going to work every day.”

The College Crusade has also benefited from Ariadna’s passion for helping young people grow. She has served as a Ways to A’s and Cru Club Instructor and has been a Career Speaker a number of times. “I enjoy meeting and working with the incoming excited College Crusaders and sharing my experiences,” she says.

Ariadna’s motivation for giving back comes from a sense of appreciation. “I think the Crusade program helped me significantly to prepare for college and to guide my parents and me in the right direction since the third grade,” she says. “In high school my Crusade Advisor, Jessica Rivera, definitely made a difference in my life. She gave me the extra push and motivation I needed. I remember being undecided and hesitant, considering I was the only Central Falls High School student accepted to Salve Regina at that time. I was scared to leave my friends behind, but Jessica pushed me to accept the opportunity and hefty financial aid package from the school. This was one of the most important decisions in my life, and I was glad to have someone like Jessica by my side to offer support and advice.”

Ariadna offers this good advice to Crusaders who are starting college in the fall: “The best part about college is having the freedom to explore who you really are, getting to know yourself, and gaining independence. You can make new friends and try out new activities (in my case it was rugby). Maintain relationships with your professors and always ask for help if you need it. I would definitely recommend living on campus, since it enhances your college experience. Enjoy college as much as you can and have fun because it goes by way too fast!”

In her free time, Ariadna enjoys spending time with her niece and catching up with family and friends. She also likes to go for walks with her fiancé and puppy.

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