Posted September 9, 2013

Temple Made: Tia Solomon

Name: Tia Solomon

Year: Senior

School: College of Liberal Arts

Major: Criminal Justice

Home town: Philadelphia, Pa.

Why I chose Temple: "Temple was at the top of my list. I studied instrumental music — I've played violin and viola all my life — and growing up in Philadelphia, I knew Temple had a great music program. I'm a city girl, so I liked the fact that it's in the city. And Temple is awesomely diverse."

Transformative moment: "Classical music was my world. But when I came here, I decided I wanted to see what else was out there. I tried various subjects, from English to criminal justice. In my freshman year, I took an 'Intro to Criminal Justice' course, and my professor recommended me to the ProRanger Philadelphia program, Temple's partnership with the National Park Service that was established to recruit, train and employ law enforcement park rangers. I applied, got in and did a summer internship working at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine in Baltimore. I was hooked. I fell in love with the idea of a career in law enforcement and protecting the nation's natural resources and heritage. When I put this uniform on, I know there's a responsibility that comes along with it. This is my passion!

"Since then, I've had summer internships with the George Washington Memorial Parkway in Virginia, the C&O Canal National Historical Park in D.C. and Valley Forge National Historical Park. It's exciting. It's challenging. But most of all, it's real. I've witnessed vehicle accidents. I'm always wearing a bullet-proof vest. I've done ride-alongs with park rangers, and you never know what can happen in a traffic stop.

"The ProRanger program is not easy. You have to make good grades. You have to have a clean record. You have to be a well-rounded student and dedicated to the program. After you complete your internships, you do the Season Law Enforcement Training Program at Temple Ambler, where you learn tactics, procedures, law, firearms training, vehicle training. It was tough! It's physically, mentally and academically demanding. There's an exam every week, and you have to pass it. Upon completion of the program and completion of Temple University, I'll have a law enforcement position with the National Park Service.

"ProRanger has opened up so many doors for me. It helped me discover myself and explore different parts of the country. But most of all, I found a career — something that I really love — at Temple University. And I'm grateful for that."