On July 1, 2018 I started my journey to London from the Chicago O’Hare Airport, I had no idea what to expect. I was excited and nervous about traveling to London to participate in the Wrongful Convictions Seminar. I am passionate about helping those being wrongful convicted and, improving the criminal justice system. So, this program turned out to be perfect for me and my interest. Previously, I had the opportunity to study abroad for the spring semester of 2017, in Thailand for three months. Once I returned back from Thailand my school invited me to go speak at the National Association of Foreign Student Advisers (NAFSA) conference. While at the conference I met a CAPA director and explained to her I was majoring in criminal justice with a minor in psychology. I also explained to her that I was determined to improve the criminal justice system and be an advocate for those during their darkest moments; who are not aware of their rights and often times feel alone. She than explained to me about the Wrongful Convictions program and that it was taught by Justin Brooks, a director at the California Innocence Project. After speaking to her I knew right then and there, that I was going to be apart of this program. I knew deep down in my heart that I wanted to be apart of this opportunity.
When I first arrived in London on July 2, 2018 I was ready to see what was in store for me. I had to find my own transportation to my new home for the next four weeks. I chose to take the tube, because it was the cheapest and your girl is on a budget. The tube ride was six pounds, and carrying my luggage up the stairs to get on the tube was a challenge. As time went on, I found the tube ride very easy to ride. While riding the tube for the first time I got the chance to observe the Londoners, I noticed they were mostly to themselves. Once I finally arrived to the area I would be living in for the next four weeks, I began my journey with my pink luggage bag and back pack to find the flat. I had a very difficult time finding the flat. I walked around the whole neighborhood searching high and low. I did not have any cellular data or service so I had to ask random Londoners for directions. Thankfully, they were willing to help but a lot of them were not familiar with the area. After walking past the park for the third time I refused to give up, I walked into the Blood center and they were able to direct me to my flat. Once I arrived at my flat I found out I stayed all the way on the fourth floor. Once I settled into my room, I took a shower and took a nap out of sheer exhaustion.
I prayed for the opportunity to be here in London and I still cannot believe I am actually here. This first week I have been doing a lot of self reflection. There are nine girls that live in the town house and we all have different personalities and come from different parts of the world. One thing I find amazing is that we all love talking about crimes. Seven of us want to go to law school. This is the first time I have been around a group of girls that love studying the criminal justice system.
This week went by so fast. So much has happened in so little time. I spent Tuesday-Thursday in class 9:30am-5:30pm taking two courses. The two courses I am taking are Wrongful Conviction, and a course on Human Rights. The first week of classes were very interesting. I received my first assignment to case briefs. I was extremely nervous when I had to present but I got it done.
I know these next couple of weeks are going to fly by so I am trying to enjoy every moment. One day I plan on opening my own organization to help those being wrongful convicted so in the mean time, I am trying to soak up all the information I can to prepare for my future.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this, see you next week.