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May 31, 2017 |

It’s not that Piotr Tandek doesn’t like John Jay — far from it, in fact — but he is about to complete his B.S. degree in Criminal Justice in just two years from admission to Commencement.

Tandek, who is all of 19 years old, was part of the first cohort of the ACE (Accelerate, Complete, Engage) program, and will be the first to graduate from the two-year-old student-success initiative. He entered John Jay already armed with more than 30 credits thanks to high school AP classes, proficiency tests, foreign language skills (he’s trilingual), and the Police Cadet Corps.

“I told my advisor I wanted to graduate in three years,” said Tandek, “and I was told ‘What’s your hurry? It might be hard.” So instead, with full course loads year-round, including winter and summer mini-semesters, he’s finishing in two.

Tandek’s service in the Cadet Corps is part of his preparation for a career with the NYPD. While he will have to wait until age 21 to be sworn in, he plans to use the time to good advantage by pursuing a master’s degree in history at the College of Staten Island, in order to teach after his NYPD career ends.

“I have a goal to do 25 years, and get to lieutenant by age 30,” said Tandek. “I want to have the power to change things. I want to be proactive. I want to be on the job to serve people.”


Story featured on Humans of John Jay..