Jennifer Dios: Reinvesting in the Community
As a first generation college student, Jennifer Dios’s journey to Rutgers University-Newark (RU-N) began at Science Park High School in Newark when a teacher advised her to apply for the Honors Living-Learning Community (HLLC) at RU-N.
“In high school I was very unsure of where I wanted to go. I always knew about Rutgers-Newark and once I ended up applying, it just felt right,” Dios stated.
Dios entered Rutgers-Newark as a business student but quickly realized that business was not for her and changed her major to computer science with a double minor in social justice and mathematics. The diversity of her passions also extended well outside the classroom.
During Dios’s tenure at Rutgers-Newark, she joined the joint New Jersey Institute of Technology and Rutgers Theater Program and participated in several shows and performances.
Dios said, “I am very invested into the arts. To me, it's such a big platform to really get a message across. My first show here was In the Heights. The strong Latino representation in the play made it such an honor for me to be a part of it.”
Other interests that Dios grew to love included traveling. The scholarships and summer internship opportunities Dios received enabled her to travel a lot during her time at Rutgers-Newark. Countries she has visited include Spain, Iceland, and South Africa among others.
“Scholarships and experiential learning gave me the opportunity to travel. Those experiences really expanded my mind and made me realize that there is so much more out there, so much to work on, and most importantly so much to change!” Dios exclaimed.
The future for Dios revolves around helping to create change. As an alumna of the Class of 2020 with a bachelor's degree from the School of Arts and Sciences-Newark, Dios has accepted a full-time offer as an analyst for Deloitte’s Government and Public Services. She will begin the next chapter of her life and career in Sacramento, California, but does have strong intentions on returning to school to further explore her interest in data science.
“In general, a lot of people who go into computer science usually follow a traditional path into web development, but because I have so much love for social justice, I always thought there was so much power in data,” shared Dios. “There’s so much you can do with data such as working to impact the government or implement policy reform. Eventually, I want to make a global impact on society.”
Dios is an example of how the strong community at Rutgers-Newark helps push students to reach their desired goals. A Newark native with proud Latino roots, Dios is thankful for this community, which is largely responsible for her evolving into the role model and mentor she is today.
“What a lot of people don't know about Rutgers-Newark is that you will definitely be really supported. What I remember the most is the people. The support and dedication from the staff and my peers were very inspiring and kept me moving forward. That's something I really loved about Rutgers-Newark that I will take with me for the rest of my life,” Dios said.