Berkeley Today Stories
Berkeley College Graduate Grows as Novelist while Pursuing Career in Criminal Justice
In 2014, Jessica Rienzi graduated from Berkeley College with a B.S. in Justice Studies – Criminal Justice. She credits her time at Berkeley College in Woodland Park, NJ, for not only helping improve her writing skills, but also for motivating her to keep pursuing a career as a novelist.
Ms. Rienzi has been passionate about writing since elementary school. She writes stories for children and young readers, and has self-published four novels and collections of short stories. Her latest young-adult novel, Dawn: Before the Hunt (Volume 1), was released in September 2016 and is available via Amazon.
“I love the complexity of novels, and how it can open one’s mind to a different world and a different possibility,” Ms. Rienzi said. “I hope to grow as an author by writing stories that are more than simply something to read, but rather inspire the reader in some way toward their own hobbies or careers.”
A resident of Garfield, NJ, Ms. Rienzi also works as a teacher’s aide at the Anna C. Scott Elementary School in Leonia, NJ. Her role entails assisting students with special needs, preparing them to work independently, both in and outside the classroom. “I not only wanted to gain more experience with children, but also gain more skills and knowledge of how to talk with different types of people,” she said.
While balancing life as a novelist and teacher’s aide, Ms. Rienzi continues to search for more opportunities in the criminal justice field. “My instructors at Berkeley College taught me that you can do anything if you work for it, and to enjoy it all along the way,” she said.