Brittany Dominguez ’21 is going to change the world. Maybe not in monumental ways, she says, but as much as a single person can, she is determined to make life better for people—and her Carleton education is the start.
Yet she almost didn’t make it here. Wearing a thin gold necklace with a charm of the state of Texas, the Houston native admits Carleton was maybe fourth or fifth on her list. “I was not expecting to leave Texas at all,” she says. “It wasn’t that I didn’t think Carleton was a great school—I just don’t handle cold weather very well!”
But thanks to the generous financial aid package Carleton offered, the choice to head north was obvious. “And it was the best decision,” she says. “I’m so happy I came here. I love my classes and the close-knit relationships with professors, and I’ve met people I’ll be friends with my entire life.”
Brittany arrived on campus knowing she wanted to pursue educational studies. She’d fallen in love with teaching in high school after interning with Breakthrough Houston, a program serving underserved K-12 students. When she went back to work there again the summer after her first year at Carleton, she started thinking about education through a different lens. “I had taken ‘Intro to Education’ with Jeff Snyder, and I found it to be life-changing. It opened my eyes to the vast differences in education each individual gets,” she says. “Unfortunately, our zip codes often dictate the kind of schooling we receive.”
A prospective sociology/anthropology major, Brittany says these classes have also helped her better understand urban education. She started thinking about food insecurity, financial instability, familial struggles, and other issues that hinder children’s learning.
“Every time I go back to Houston, I take everything I learn here with me,” Brittany says. A consultant in Carleton’s Writing Center and a tutor with the Center for Community and Civic Engagement’s TORCH program, Brittany wants to teach one day and eventually work in educational policy.
“I realized that there’s a gap in education because often policy makers aren’t teachers. I think teaching will be a good foundation for my career so I can really help people through policy change.”
Though her heart is in Houston, Brittany has embraced her time in Northfield. She volunteers with the CCCE’s Food Recovery Network, which donates unused food from the dining halls to local food shelves, sings in the choir, and serves as communications director for the college’s Fellowship for Christ. And even when temperatures dip below zero, Brittany says she willingly braves the cold to build snowmen and play in the snow with her friends.
“I wouldn’t be here without financial aid,” Brittany says. “It made it possible for me to come here and learn and get ready to go out and make all the difference that I can in the world.”