Connor Romenesko ’11 studied political science, international studies, and peace and justice studies during his four years at St. Norbert College in DuPere, Wisc. After graduating in 2015, he is now taking his passion for service into the real world.
Since August, he has been working as a member of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, spending a year of service working at the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta, as a criminal justice intake specialist.
“I answer calls and letters from individuals who are incarcerated—and their loved ones—whose rights are being violated in the criminal justice system in Georgia and Alabama,” Connor explains. “I also work on investigations which can be as simple as going to a tiny courthouse in South Georgia, to picking up records or interviewing individuals who are incarcerated.”
Connor says he is surrounded by lawyers at the Southern Center for Human Rights, who provide legal representation to people facing the death penalty. They also challenge human rights violations in prisons and work to improve legal representation for poor people accused of crimes.
“I’ve always been interested in the law and policy,” Connor says. “When I started researching inequality in the criminal justice system, I began seeing a way to create an option for the poor and under-represented in the criminal justice system.”
“This ultimately led to me looking to serve at legal advocacy organizations through the Jesuit Volunteer Corps,” he adds, “and brought me to the Southern Center.”
Connor already has been accepted into several law schools, which he hopes to start in the fall. Earning his law degree, he says would allow him to continue his quest to advocate for the under-represented in the criminal justice system.
Ultimately, Connor points back to his years at Saint Viator as formative ones, which instilled in him a passion for serving the poor.
“The Viatorians have had a major impact on my college life,” Connor said during a 2013 interview. “My time on campus has involved doing service and working for justice. This passion was sparked during my religion class at Saint Viator—and the Viatorians have been helping me pursue this passion to this day.”