30 in 30 Presents: Jenny Calero (Week 14)

Jenny Calero 30in30

Jenny Calero

Education
BA, Sociology, UIC, 2014
MA, Urban Planning and Policy, UIC, Expected 2018

UIC’s diversity drew Jenny in
Growing up in Cicero, a predominately Latino neighborhood, Jenny felt that she was not exposed to a lot of diversity, but she wanted to explore differences in cultures and races. Driving down I-290 with her parents, Jenny would always notice the big University of Illinois at Chicago sign. When it came time to explore college options, she remembered the sign and decided to research the university. She learned that UIC had great diversity among its student body and it was close to home, making UIC an easy choice.

Finding sociology
Jenny decided to take an Introduction to Sociology class, which sparked her interest in the field. The class included the topics of race and gender, which Jenny wasn’t used to hearing people discuss. Talking about such controversial topics only sparked Jenny’s interest even more in the field and led her to choose sociology as a major. During her time as an undergraduate, Jenny had the opportunity to work with Dr. Lorena Garcia on an independent study in which they worked to connect the book From Barrios to Burbs to race.

From Sociology to Urban Planning and Policy
After graduating, Jenny decided to apply to UIC’s Urban Planning and Policy Master’s program. She was accepted and will graduate with her degree at the end of this year! Jenny says her sociological background is a great way to bring a different lens to working with communities in urban planning. Once she graduates, Jenny plans to work for the City of Chicago or a small municipality like the town she grew up in.

Working toward her degree
Currently, Jenny works as a population health coordinator. She works directly with patients and the doctors; Jenny’s goal is to make the patient comfortable enough to want to follow through with their healthcare. She loves her job because she gets to work with patients one-on-one and she feels that her sociological background allows her to be able to understand the patient’s background and understand where they are coming from when they make certain decisions.

Fun facts!
During her spare time, Jenny loves to learn new and exciting things like traveling to different countries, learning a new language, and learning how to play the piano. She also enjoys running and tries to set new goals all the time, because of those goals she will be running her first marathon this year.

Interviewed by Jacqueline Elizondo

 

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