CEAP Alumna Attends Cornell Law School

In the fall semester of 2020, Jillean Workman she was in the middle of her first semester at Cornell Law school. Getting to Cornell was no easy feat and although her entrance into law school is not what she expected, she is taking it in stride as Jillean is familiar with change.

While she was in high school her family left Guyana and settled in Florida. Faced with a new school in a new country, Jillean focused on the future. She watched her older siblings attend and graduate college and knew she wanted to do the same and began exploring Florida schools. It was the International Relations Department that got her attention at USF. She connected with the faculty and enrolled as an international relations and economics double major. 


Despite the financial benefits of going to an in-state school, Jillean needed to work to support herself. This is why she sought out a job in the Community Engagement Associates Program (CEAP). She was hesitant at first to accept a position in the program, explaining that she wanted to work at an NGO or a political organization. She was worried that she wouldn’t gain enough experience related to her major and career interests.

The Office of Community Engagement and Partnerships conducted an interview with Jillean and explained the benefits of CEAP and how University Area Community Development Corporation (UACDC) could support her goals. In her role, she assisted the UACDC’s CEO, Sarah Combs with projects and collaborations with other non-profits in the Tampa Bay area. Her greatest accomplishment was helping to institute the FINTECH program, which is a financial technology program that serves underprivileged communities. Stepping out of her comfort zone and working with diverse communities set Jillean up for success in school, her career, and her personal life. Through her role, she learned to prioritize tasks to stay on top of her work and school assignments.

JillBeyond the technical career skills she gained, Jillean reflected that her position at the UACDC had more relevance to her path than she originally thought it could. She is currently studying Human Rights Law at Cornell. She explained that to understand these large Humanitarian issues students have understand their causes on a community level. She likened her time at UACDC to a grassroots experience and encourages anyone who is hesitant about accepting a role in CEAP to move forward as you never know how it will relate to your personal and professional goals until you try.