Our CCA Family: Meet Sergio de Leon Rodriguez
Sergio de Leon Rodriguez
September 13, 2012, was a very special day for Sergio De Leon Rodriguez.
It was the day he became a U. S. citizen.
For the security threat group (STG) coordinator at Marion County Jail II, that moment fulfilled many years of hopes, dreams and wishes. After being brought to the United States as a child from his native Mexico, Rodriguez, like many minor children who came to the States under similar circumstances, lived with some degree of concern about his future here.
"I came here with my parents a long ago," he explains. "We came to Texas and then moved north with family. Like all the other kids, I was just going to school, having fun and living life."
Gaining his citizenship gave Rodriguez a new perspective – and a deeper identity as an American. In recent times especially, it made him appreciate the privileges and rights of being a U.S. citizen.
"It was very important because I was able to vote in this last Presidential election," he says. "That let me know I could be heard, and my vote could count. Gaining my citizenship meant that some doors closed, while a lot of others opened. It took a big load off my back."
Rodriguez, like many at CCA, didn't specifically start his career with plans to work in a correctional facility. He toured Marion County Jail II while he was a student at ITT Tech, majoring in criminal justice.
"I didn't really know what my career plan was," Rodriguez recalls. "I thought it was more of a job security degree. So I thought I would go to school first and see where that led me."
During that tour, Rodriguez learned that the facility was hiring. A faculty member at his school who used to work at Marion County Jail II gave Rodriguez some insights into corrections and the many long-term career possibilities. So in March 2010, he officially joined the Marion staff, with his associate's degree in tow. Last August, he was promoted to STG coordinator.
"My wife was kind of excited about it," he says. "She knew it would be different, kind of cool. She couldn't wait to hear stories. My parents were just telling me to be careful."
In the two years Rodriguez has been with CCA, he's joined the SORT team and even ventured out for special assignments. He traveled to Lake Erie Correctional Institution in Ohio for its opening and also was on site at Adams County Correctional Center after the tragic May 2012 incident.
"I enjoy being on the SORT team – always being on our toes, giving training. It's interesting to see how different facilities work, and it's always good to meet other people from CCA and learn from them. Even though it may appear that we do the same things every day as corrections professionals, it's always different."
In his free time, Rodriguez enjoys an active lifestyle. In fact, if he's not on post at work, you can probably find him sparring in a nearby ring.
"I work out as much as I can," he says. "I like to go to the boxing gym. I also like to go out and spend time with my wife. She's my boss outside of work!"
A smart man, indeed.
January 22, 2013