Anissa Figaro: You have a right to feel your feelings. They are valid and so are you. It’s okay to lose yourself in the midst of anguish and trauma, just come back.

Introduce yourself, tell a bit about who you are, what you do, etc?

My name is Anissa Figaro. I just graduated from Saint Xavier University with a degree in criminal justice, and I’m going to law school in the fall. I just turned 21 this past March and I currently live in New Jersey. I love being creative in whatever sense of the word from chalk drawings to cake decorating and DIY projects, I like to keep myself busy 🥰

What inspired you to get into Criminal Justice?

Growing up my parents got me and my little sister hooked on shows like Law & Order SVU or Criminal Minds or Bones, they used it as a tool to teach us that you can’t trust everyone, that anything can happen to anyone. It taught me to stay vigilant, alert, and that there are cruel people in this world. After that I fell in love with true crime and specifically how the criminal justice system were able to speak fit the voiceless through forensic science or police investigations

What is some words of wisdom you live by on a daily basis?

You have a right to feel your feelings. They are valid and so are you. It’s okay to lose yourself in the midst of anguish and trauma, just come back

What are some struggles you faced to get to where you are now?

The first would be making it through elementary and high school with a feeding tube. For some reason unknown to doctors I couldn’t keep any food or drink down. I was throwing everything up, constantly nauseous, with crazy stomach pain that nobody could understand.  I lost a lot of weight in a matter of weeks so the hospital had me abandon eating and drinking all together for a feeding tube. Going to classes, getting stared down in the hallway by people I’d never met, and being bombarded with questions like a lab rat, made it hard for me to focus on anything other than my illness.something especially hard when it came to making college applications The second biggest struggle was my grandma’s cancer diagnosis.. she’d always complained about pain in her hip for as long as I can remember but refused the go the doctor due to past trauma. When she finally overcame her fears, we found out her body was riddled with ovarian cancer that had spread to her bones and other vital organs. For two years she fought so beautifully, going into hospice last summer whilst I was studying for my lsat. It was hard to juggle my focus. My future in law rested on that exam, but this woman wasting away in front of me, made me who I am, represented everything I wanted to be. She passed a week before I had to take it. I made myself a promise to go through with it despite the sorrow I found myself in because she’d be proud of no matter the score 

What is a way you’d like to make an impact in society?

Through my service to others whether that be through my work as a lawyer, volunteering at a shelter or feeding the hungry with meals my family and I made. I just want to help people I’m whatever way I’m able

What are some goals you have for next 2-5 years?

Graduate law school, get my own place, pursue my passions

Last question, what other things would you like to tell people about you?

I’m gonna do great things one day, you’ll see my name in lights 🤩

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