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Student Spotlight: Shelby Thomas

by Ashley Sampson

What started as watching crime shows with her grandmother at a young age soon sparked an interest in the criminal justice department. Shelby Thomas, 24, has decided to change her career path to criminal justice. Shelby previously lived in Jackson County and moved to Parkersburg in the summer of 2011. She earned her Associates degree in Journalism in 2014. In 2016, she decided to return to school to obtain her degree in criminal justice and is currently in her second semester. Shelby first wanted to work with the Division of Natural Resources, however, she soon changed her interest to crime scene investigations.

Thomas is currently not doing anything outside of school that relates to the program. In five years, she hopes to be starting her career and settling down. She wants to do something valuable with this degree like protecting and helping people. Although there are a variety of options with this degree she is willing to attempt to figure it out as she continues her education. One of her most outstanding accomplishments is making the Dean’s List in the Fall 2016 semester with a G.P.A of 3.6.

“I just want to be able to do something good with this degree. I hope to help and protect people. I still have a ways to go before I finish,” Shelby said.

Shelby is currently balancing school and work. She has been with her job at McDonald’s for what will be three years this coming May and is currently a Crew Trainer. She also feels that working and going to school is “like living a double life.”

“Going to school and work is not easy, but it is a necessity,” Shelby said.

Thomas is enjoying the criminal justice program and admires going to school in general. While in the eighth grade, Shelby received some advice that she continues to follow.

Her teacher, Mr. Grady, once told her, “You are going to go far in life Shelby, so don’t give up ever.” With this advice, she is still continuing to achieve her goal of becoming a crime scene investigator.

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