top of page

Jessenia Rodrigez Barnett, Alum

Since fourth grade, Jessenia felt called to become a pharmacist. This feeling was confirmed many years later, when as a Junior at Mary Help of Christians Academy, she entered a program called Healthcare Connections, a partnership between MHCA and St. Joseph’s Hospital in Paterson.

Students in this program spend time in a wide variety of departments including Radiology, Physical Therapy and Pharmacy. “I found pharmacy the most interesting because you’re able to help so many people through prescribing the correct medicine to help their conditions,” says Jessenia, adding, “I really like the flexibility the profession gives you in being able to work in different types of facilities, too.”

Jessenia is extremely grateful to Tri-County for her fine education.

“It was very difficult to pay the tuition for high school and having help from Tri County meant my parents’ burden was lifted. Tri-County was the only reason I was able to stay in Mary Help and go to college because without them my parents wouldn’t have been able to afford it – no way,” says Jessenia.

Perhaps because of Tri-County’s gifts to both Jessenia and her sister, she was moved to give back to others. She initiated a club, Healing Spaces, during her Freshman year at Fairleigh Dickinson University. Part of a non-profit in Wayne, its mission is to create a beautiful hospital room to a chosen patient’s specifications with the aid of a professional room designer. Calling the experience “transforming”, Jessenia related the excitement that the patient and their family would feel when presented with this beautiful, healing gift. “Their joy would bring us all to tears,” shared Jessenia.

It's quite likely these lucky patients would never have experienced this great fortune and care if not for Tri-County. Jessenia observed, “The number one stress that I could see my parents facing was they didn’t know how they were going to afford college. So finding Tri-County was extremely beneficial!”

After completing her B.S. in Biochemistry at FDU, Jessenia was soon accepted into their prestigious PharmD (Doctor of Pharmacy) program where she graduated in 2020. Rated the #2 Pharmacy College in New Jersey by, this program requires students to complete an on-the-job ‘rotation’ each year.


bottom of page