Sometimes it’s just that little push from a persistent mentor that makes all the difference. For Alejandro Cardenas, a Claims Processor at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska, that support from his former Avenue Scholars Foundation advisor at Omaha Bryan was exactly what he needed to stay on the path to a successful career.
“Mrs. Christensen (former Career Coach Emily Christensen) knew how to push me,” Cardenas said. “She was very supportive. She made me think more critically about my decisions.”
One of those decisions was to attend Metropolitan Community College to get an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice, which he accomplished in 2014. Cardenas continued his education at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Science in Criminology, with a minor in Sociology, in 2017.
“I definitely will be going into criminology somehow, somewhere,” he said. “That could even mean staying at Blue Cross Blue Shield in the fraud department.”
“Cardenas is also one of several Avenue Scholars who have benefitted from the internship program at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska, starting in 2013.
“Blue Cross Blue Shield is such a great opportunity; they have opened so many doors,” Cardenas says. “I have met lots of great people who have developed me as a leader. It’s a workplace where they care about their employees in every way, including health, emotional well being, family issues, etc.”
Cardenas continues to explore his options for a career in the criminal justice system. Since graduating from UNO in December, he has been taking various exams and “getting his resume out there.” However, he says that could also keep him at Blue Cross Blue Shield.