Written by | Tashana Smith |
Jordan Herrera is coordinator of social services at Amarillo College. Her job is to work with students who have been referred to the social services department for assistance.
“We focus on connecting them to resources that will assist them as they continue on their educational journey,” Herrera said. Her office either refers student to campus resources or community resources.
Herrera said she recently had a student referred to her for assistance in finding a job. Her first reaction was to refer the student to the Career Center, where employees help students build their resumes and look for jobs.
While talking to the student, Herrera said, she could sense that something else was wrong. Within that conversation, she realized this student needed more assistance than just finding a job. Herrera saw it as an opportunity to help the student. She wanted to make sure she was educated about the help that was available.
“We set this program up to provide any assistance for any barriers that students may be facing,” Herrera said. Help is offered in any way possible. The one issue that has come up a lot has been with housing, she said. Because no campus housing is available, students in need are referred to a community partner to get help.Herrera also has taken over supervision of the AC food pantry this semester.
“I feel this is a big accomplishment,” she said. Because the creator of the food pantry, Lynae Jacob, will be retiring, AC administrators decided put it under a more centralized area. It had operated from Parcells Hall since it began.
April 1 will be the day the social services department will be relocated to the Ware Student Commons.
Also being relocated to that area will be Adult Student Services, the food pantry and the clothing closet. The social services department also provides assistance with domestic violence, foster care resources, mental health resources, suicide awareness and the poverty initiative.
Herrera graduated from AC in May 2008 with an associate degree in psychology. She received a bachelor’s degree in social work at West Texas A&M University in May 2010, and in December 2011 she received her master’s degree.
She said she is passionate about working in social services and helping students in need.
“Sometimes students don’t have the support that they need,” she said. “That’s the one thing that shocks me.” She said she loves being able to provide hope and support for students in need.