Mi Vida

I was born in 1992 on RT. 59 in Suffern, New York. And by RT. 59 I mean the ambulance – I didn’t make it to the hospital. Sometimes in the near relative future my family moved to Spring Valley, New York. For most of my life, that was my home, and I love it.

School. Several places. Then Ramapo High School happened. My second official home. There I met my best friends. There I met family. There I opened my eyes. There I discovered I actually gave a shit (halfway through at least). At Ramapo, I started to become “Nico”, sometimes spelled w/ a K. Also discovered my luscious long hair there.

Graduated. That summer. Dios Santo. Que pinche feelings.

College. John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York. After my first semester I was accepted into the CUNY Baccaularate for Unique and Interdisciplinary Studies Program, and declared two majors of my creation. Psychology of Juvenile Delinquency and International Criminology. Specific, I know.

Fell in love. With Research.

At John Jay, I conducted research in several areas. Among them are, exposure to violence in adolescents in NYC and PTSD, perceptions of policing practices and experiences w/ police in the South Bronx, something called ‘Hostile Attribution Bias’ in NYC adolescents, Gendered Warfare Violence in Latin America, comparative study on Albanian and Salvadoran (MS-13) Gangs in NYC, Albanian Organized Crime, and Participatory Action Research using photography.

Graduated. That summer too. Dios Santo. Mas pinche feelings.

Won a Marshall Scholarship. Moved to England for two graduate degrees.

The first at the University of Liverpool for a MA in Research Methods (Sociology & Social Policy). Its so much Sociology and so little policy. Which I am very happy with. Dissertation focus: Policing and Detention of Refugees and Asylum Seekers in the UK. My second graduate degree will be at LSE for an MSc in Gender, Media, and Culture.

My families: SideKicks, Azucar y Limon, Moo Do Kwan, Aspira, PR/HYLI @ Albany, The Originals, Ramapo, Grupo de Jovenes “Nuevo Amanecer”, CUNY Debate, McNair, JJay Honors Program, Vera Fellowship, NYNY, SBCCFY, Towers/Harlem Crew, CUNY BA, My Musketeers, Common Justice, Harvard LLI, SLP, WSPU, 2013 Marshalls, Liverpool MA Crew, and RAPAR.

My Passions: Cinema. Photography. Books. Comics. Dancing. Storytelling. Writing. Exploring.

My Team: Mis Padres. My Sis. Mis Abuelos, all 3 of em’. Wishbone & Lobo. And my Best Friends.

My future: Academia. Authorship. PhotoVoice Research. A Film Project. Family. Amor. A better world.

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