June 7, 2024

JSI Scholar: Kimberly Perdomo

  • Pronouns: She/Her
  • Hometown: Jamaica, NY
  • College/University: John Jay College
  • Major: International Criminal Justice
  • Track: Residential

Tell us about your story

I was born and raised in Queens, New York to Salvadoran immigrants. My parents, like many immigrants, came to this country in search for a better future, which has always been so inspiring to me. I grew up hyperaware of immigration policies and the daily news surrounding laws in the U.S. because it affected my family and community. As someone with dual citizenship and who grew up with two different cultures, the importance of advocacy and diversity is important to me. This led me to studying International Criminal Justice at John Jay College and immersing myself in many activities and opportunities that expanded my knowledge and social skills. An example would be serving as Secretary and reviving the club of Latin American Student Organization (LASO) at my college. This taught me to connect with my community and bring them together by planning fun events like dance parties, but also informative ones like a panel with special guests on why it is essential to vote. I am an advocate not only for issues that personally impact me and my family, but other groups that need a voice and support. I believe public service and social justice is crucial, especially in the times we are facing today on a global lens.

What path did you take when you first started college?

When I first started at John Jay College, my major was Forensic Science and I was interested in working for the FBI. I also was considering doing the MA/BA program at John Jay in International Criminal Justice. However, after my first semester of college I soon realized my passions were elsewhere.

What made you consider a career in public policy/public service/international affairs?

I have always been interested in advocacy regarding public service throughout high school, I went to an all-girls public leadership school. I was surrounded by strong women, and we participated in events such as the 2019 climate change march and walking out due to gun violence. Growing up, I saw advocacy firsthand through community events and how important they can be to spread information. Also, I have always advocated for El Salvador and have always been on top of the news of my motherland. This passion for justice work and public service was strengthened by becoming a student at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. I am surrounded by ideas, events, and classes that constantly mention social justice, public service, etc. Navigating through my semesters and deciding on International Criminal Justice as my major helped me consider a potential career dealing with community relations, public policy, as well as international affairs.

Who inspires you to think about public service?

Definitely my family and friends, the communities with which I identify, and the various groups that need support and advocacy.

What are you most excited about the JSI program at UW?

I am so excited about this opportunity with the JSI program at UW. I am eager to make new connections and learn new skills that can help me finish my last year at college. Not only that, but I also am looking forward to the career guidance and coaching during the JSI program and exploring what Public Policy and International Affairs truly is and how can it be utilized to help create change.