Nicole LeDoux ‘19 graduated from UCCS with two degrees, a bachelor’s degree in psychology and another in criminal justice. She always dreamed of getting involved with her community and wondered if becoming a police officer would allow her to make a difference. Like many, her post-graduation plans were halted due to the pandemic – and Nicole’s career goals ultimately shifted.
We caught up with Nicole to hear how life has been since graduation, how she’s rerouted her career plans and what it was like to fall in love with a new dream.
Q&A: Nicole LeDoux ‘19
I have been volunteering with the Colorado Springs Police Department since August of 2019 while working my job as a server in a restaurant. Since graduation, I have volunteered with Investigations at Gold Hills, then Motor Vehicle Theft, and now I am currently with the Colorado Springs Police Department Crime Analysis Unit.
I chose the criminal justice side of my degree because I want to make a positive impact in my community, and this is one major way I can make that possible. I chose the psychology part of my degree because the human brain is a fascinating topic. Learning about psychology can help you learn more about yourself and impact your interactions with others.
The best part of my field is all the interesting people I have met who have helped with my decision on what I would want to do with my career. My field is full of people who have a lot of experience I do not have, allowing for some outside perspective.
I have a list of things I can always be doing to help the crime analysts clear a little more off their plates. They will give me some new tasks at least every other week to help me think more like one of them. They let me sit in on projects and meetings. They always make me feel like I’m part of the team, and that is the main reason I have loved volunteering for CSPD.
I am proud that I graduated college. I am proud of the work ethic my parents helped develop. This work ethic allows me to be the best I can be while making small daily achievements.
One of my lowest moments was when COVID-19 hit. My restaurant had gone to only takeout service, which created a big impact on my income. COVID also put my job search at a stop. Once the job field opened again, I applied for multiple jobs and was ultimately not the best candidate, causing me to slowly stop believing in myself. But volunteering with the Crime Analyst Unit has helped prove to myself that I am worthy and will one day soon reach a career I love. Volunteering with the Crime Analyst Unit has allowed me to realize this is the career path I want to take.
My UCCS education ultimately gave me skills such as critical thinking, being detail-specific, and organizational skills of tasks in both work and life. My criminal justice teachers helped me to understand that you will switch around continuously in this field but will ultimately end up where you are supposed to be.
I hope to be in a career I love with a family and a house. I am happy now, and I hope that I only get happier with life.
I would 100 percent recommend volunteering to help not only with connections for the future, but to also help find something you are passionate about and to give you new perspectives you may have never considered. I would also say: Be patient and take any opportunities that come your way, because you never know – you could end up loving that path more than you ever expected.
I am either working my job as a server, going to the gym, or simply hanging out with ones I love.
Both my parents are from England, but I am also a mix of Indian and Guyanese while being born in the United States. I am proud and thankful to have so many cultures in my background.
Want to be like Nicole? You can! Find out more information on the School of Public Affairs at UCCS.
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UCCS’ Success Stories series features recent alumni who are making an impact on their communities and the world around them. Having graduated in the last 15 years, they are busy making strides in the directions of their dreams. We can’t wait to see how their stories unfold.