“There’s just something about where you’re from that makes it special to you.”
Coming from a family of college and higher education goers, Brigethia always had it in her mind to also go to college. As graduation from Corcoran in 2012 came nearer, however, the real question became where. Thinking she was ready to live far away from home, she only applied to two universities in New York: “I had wanted to go out of state. Syracuse and Medaille were the only two schools I applied to in state. I thought I was ready to leave Syracuse, but moving to Buffalo showed me that I couldn’t just yet. I chose Medaille because it was a small school and I didn’t feel like I could go down to Virginia on my own just yet.”
In the weeks leading up to her move to Medaille, Brigethia was tackling another question: is psychology really the major she wanted? Her intent was to be a marriage and family therapist but she asked herself “Would that be something I would want to do every day for the rest of my life?” The answer turned out to be no: “I just thought about the long run, about how social workers don’t really get paid that well, how I would probably have to go for a Doctorate. After really thinking about it, I realized that psychology wasn’t for me. I still like it though, just not as a career.”
Her cousin was the one who pointed her in the communications direction “She kind of introduced me to it. After looking at it some more, I realized that this was something I really wanted to do. It gives you skills that every business needs: PR, marketing and advertising.” Just about two years into her college career and Brigethia has really dived in to the communications field: a TV and YouTube talk show with some friends this semester, a radio spot next semester, an internship with the athletic department figuring out how to increase attendance at women’s basketball games and an internship this summer with Raymour & Flanigan (“I applied for the Raymour and Flanigan internship because I thought it was one that I could learn a lot from. I was learning a lot about marketing in classes, but now I am going to be able to put it into practice.”). She also holds down a job as a work study student and is a peer mentor to incoming 1st year students.
In her “spare time” she is able to think about where her life is headed after undergrad: “I want to go to grad school at Newhouse (Syracuse University) and then move to Atlanta to hopefully work with a PR company or in marketing or maybe with a TV station. There are a lot of opportunities down there for my field, plus my Aunt lives there.”
But she does not want to leave Syracuse forever: “I do love Syracuse. It’s my home, I miss it even while I am in Buffalo. There’s just something about where you’re from that makes it special to you. I don’t want to just leave forever; I do want to give back. I would like to create programs one day in Syracuse for people that are interested in what I am interested in, like fashion and communications.”
In fact, the types of programs she wants to create is what she thinks will make Syracuse even better than it is today: “I think one thing to make it a better place is to have more programs for kids to do. One of my friends was in a dance program and that really helped her find what she wanted to do. Helping kids become more exposed to things they might want to do when they are older will go a long way. It really needs to be a community thing, involving parents, teachers and everyone.”
According to Brigethia, Say Yes Syracuse is playing an integral role in this right now. Her siblings have been a part of the afterschool programs created with the help of Say Yes, and when they age out of them they return to give back; to ensure that younger kids have the same opportunities as they did. More programs offered to more kids so that they stay out of trouble is something that Brigethia would like to see in Syracuse and hopes one day to be an important person in making that happen.
While Say Yes was not in Syracuse when she was younger, it arrived in time to help her go to college: “I was really excited. I know a lot of people in my family have big student loans and they are saying that they wish this opportunity was available to them when they were in school.” Say Yes has also played a bigger role in the community: “It brought more opportunity and made more people believe they could go to school. It addresses the big question of “how am I going to pay for college?” Now there is really no excuse to not go. It’s just something positive that belongs in Syracuse.”
As Brigethia finishes her final two years at Medialle, she wants to focus on building lifelong relationships, increase her learning outside of the classroom so she can be better prepared to step into the workforce and explore all of the opportunities that Medaille has to offer.
And when her life is made into a movie she hopes that Carrie Washington would be willing to step in: “I don’t know if she could play me, but she is my favorite actress and I like her movies a lot. I would go to see it if she was in it.”
Spotlight by:Jason Ashley
Intern, Say Yes to Education | Syracuse
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