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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

For Criminal Justice Major, College Has Been a Balancing Act

By Xavier Horton

It's a juggling act, commuting and working full time while taking a full course load at Old Dominion University.

But for Albert White, a criminal justice major who aspires to be a Drug Enforcement Agent, coming to Old Dominion has helped him come out of his shell.

"ODU definitely changed my life for the greater good. I was able to meet and connect with a lot of great people," said White, who will graduate in Dec. 14 during Old Dominion University's 131st Commencement Exercises in Chartway Arena at the Ted Constant Convocation Center.

White will receive his degree with graduates of the College of Arts and Letters, Strome College of Business, and College of Health Sciences at the 2 p.m. commencement. Graduates of the Darden College of Education & Professional Studies, Batten College of Engineering and Technology, and College of Sciences will receive their degrees at the 9 a.m. ceremony.

White, a graduate of Salem High School in Virginia Beach, completed two years at Tidewater Community College before transferring to Old Dominion. He picked ODU because it's local and low-cost. ODU is one of Virginia's most affordable public doctorial universities.

He is following in the footsteps of his father, a Norfolk police officer, by entering the criminal justice field.

He aspires to be a DEA agent "to better the community by stopping the flow of drugs from entering the U.S."

Toward that end, he was involved in the Virginia Beach Police Department's Explorer program. This initiative gives explorers a better understanding and awareness of police work by providing practical training and hands‐on experience. All explorers are viewed as potential recruits for the department.

White also worked a part-time job at a grocery store and works a fulltime job at the light rail station in Norfolk, saving his money and contributing to tuition costs.

Since transferring to ODU, White said he has become more outgoing and involved in campus activities. He recently was initiated into the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity, which has opened volunteer and other opportunities to participate in campus activities. He assisted freshman in getting settled into residence halls during move-in day and through his fraternity helped raise money for children with disabilities.

"ODU made me more sociable and offered me a lot of networking opportunities," White said. "Commuting, working and going to class was hard for me, but I thank God for giving me the strength to get through it. Graduating made me realize that I can do anything in life."

Xavier Horton is a student in entrepreneurship and public relations, a communication class which sees students work in partnership with the University's Office of Strategic Communication & Marketing.

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