Briggitte Jaramillo ’21, ’23
Briggitte Jaramillo ’21, ’23 Promoted to Detective Investigator by Manhattan DA

Degrees: B.A. in Criminology, M.A. in Forensic Psychology
Program: ACE
Internship: Knotel Security Operations
Hometown: Guayaquil, Ecuador; Queens, NY

“Three months before graduating with my bachelor’s degree from John Jay, I applied for a job at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. Having John Jay on my resume and the incredible support I received from the ACE program was pivotal to securing a role at the DA’s Office. Now, three years in, I’ve been promoted to Detective Investigator and conduct criminal investigations and advocate for victims.”

What was life like before John Jay?
I was born in Ecuador and raised in New York. Growing up, my parents taught me the importance of having a strong work ethic. My parents did everything they could to provide for our family. My father worked late into the night, and my mother worked a part-time job. They did all of this while learning to speak English. Although I saw them struggle financially, their priority was always my happiness. Their determination made me want to be a good student. It’s because of them I work hard to accomplish my dreams.

Why John Jay? 
My passion has always been criminal justice and criminology. My favorite shows growing up were Law & Order: Special Victims UnitCriminal Minds, and Dr. G: Medical Examiner. I was fascinated by the characters’ drive to advocate for victims. When applying to colleges, I knew John Jay was where I would learn how to be a voice for the most vulnerable people in society.

How did the ACE program enrich your education?
I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for ACE. The program has been a blessing for me and my family. My parents always wanted me to go to college, but we didn’t know how we could afford it. That’s where the program came in. ACE allowed me to be free of all financial burdens during my undergraduate experience. The program covered my tuition and textbook costs. Being free of that stress meant I could focus on my education. Because of the ACE program, I graduated with my bachelor’s degree in three years, debt-free. 

Who helped put you on the path to success?
My ACE advisor, Xenia Machado, always wanted to see me succeed. I knew I could go to her when I needed advice or had a problem. She made sure I was prepared to graduate on time. She regularly checked in on how I was doing, helped me lock in the classes I needed, and encouraged me to get internships. Xenia was an amazing mentor. For me, as a Latina in the ACE program, it felt good to have an advisor who understood what I was experiencing as a first-generation student. Xenia always urged students to take pride in their cultural identities and to believe in their potential. Her dedication to her students’ success was so inspiring to me that I decided to become an ACE peer mentor and support John Jay students.

What’s your job at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office like? 
Before this recent promotion to detective investigator, I worked as a paralegal in the Vehicular Crimes Unit at the DA’s office. In that role, I worked alongside dedicated assistant district attorneys who advocated for victims of vehicular crimes. As a paralegal, I learned case law, interviewed defendants, and spoke with victims. I was also able to apply the lessons and advocacy skills I learned at John Jay and ACE in my work at the DA’s Office. Receiving this recent promotion is an honor. In this new role, I’ll be able to advocate for victims in a deeper, even more meaningful way.