Francis Larios

Francis Larios


Class of: 2013
Degree Program: A.A. in Liberal Arts; Criminal Justice

What factors led you to decide to attend Hudson County Community College?
The factors that led me to decide to attend Hudson County Community College was the affordable tuition and the close by commute. I also was not 100% clear on what major I wanted to pursue so starting my general requirements at a community college oppose to a 4 year college definitely was one of the best decisions!

What is your favorite memory of the College, in or out of the classroom?
My favorite memory of the College, was absolutely going to a L.E.G.O. Retreat for the weekend. It was one of the most memorable events not only of the college but of my life. That retreat was spent with HCCC students and staff, the mission was to become established leaders forever.

How did you become interested in Criminal Justice?
A: I became interested in my major ever since I met with my HCCC advisor, initially I was a special education major. I knew that wasn’t my passion however, since I was volunteering with students with disabilities I figured everything will just fall in to place. However, meeting with my HCCC advisor made me realize that this isn’t what I wanted. I didn’t like classroom settings to begin with, I’ve always been an outdoors person, I also like being very active. I loved reading about criminal cases, that was one of my hobbies, I had few law enforcement buddies but never really thought much. Until my HCCC advisor advised me to take a criminal justice course, she said it would count as an elective, so I did take it after that, I went back to speak to her and I said, “I need to change my major. This is it, I want to work in law enforcement’, and she looked into my eyes and said, “ I knew this would be your calling, I just wanted you to figure it out for yourself.” Ever since, I fall more and more in love with my major, I am now anticipating to receive my Bachelor’s of Science in Criminal Justice Research and Methods with a minor in Psychology.

How did your time at HCCC prepare you for your career/ life now?
HCCC definitely prepared me to further my education, it was a great stepping stone for me. All my major professors were amazing and helpful during my transition to a 4 year college.

What has been the most memorable project/case you have worked on?
The most memorable case I worked on was for Professor Desicco, I had to write a 15 page paper on a cold case and hypothetically solve. I worked on the infamous case JonBenet Ramsey the 6 year old beauty queen who was murdered in her home the night of Christmas. That is my favorite case and hypothetically solving it made it so much interesting for me, I worked really hard for it, he gave us the entire semester to work on it, so I ended up giving him a 35-page paper!

Who are your biggest inspirations that have impacted your work in some way?
My biggest inspirations will always be those professors that always expect the most out of you, to me this means that they want you to push yourself out of your comfort zone, it means they know you are capable to do and be so much more. I like when I have to exceed my expectations. My father is another big inspiration for me, he’s been my backbone since my first day of kindergarten and now I’m almost at the finish line and he’s never lost sight of me or given up on anything I’ve ever wanted. Lastly, it’s my best friend she has always motivated me to go that extra mile no matter how hard or how easy it is. She showed me what true success really is.

What advice would you give to recent HCCC graduates?
The advice I would give to recent HCCC graduates is don’t stop here, just keep going. HCCC is a great steeping stone but this is just the beginning of your journey.

What advice do you have for those students who are just starting their college careers?
My advice for students who are just starting their college careers is do you what you love, do what you have passion for, do it for yourself. Sometimes people go to college for the wrong reasons or wrong ideas. I know that it’ll be nice to do and choose the career your parents want you to do however, at the end of the day you have to think that choosing a career is like choosing a soul mate. This is what you’re going to marry and be with your entire life, “ideally.” So why not, make that life time a really good one. If you’re not happy with your major? Change it. If you have questions? Ask them. If you have ideas? Talk about them. We should all be entitled to happiness forever. Don’t be that miserable worker who is just there for a pay check, be that person who wakes up and just wants to be wonderful!