Dominique Powell

For Dominique Powell, Adelphi University has provided her the chance to turn her dream of combating substance abuse and homelessness into a reality.

For Dominique Powell, an Adelphi University education is the chance to turn her dreams into reality. Powell is a psychology major who intends to pursue a career in social work, inspired by her lifelong interest in combating substance abuse and homelessness.

Powell’s activity on campus at Adelphi is far-reaching, a testament to her enthusiasm for giving back. She has been involved in Adelphi’s NAACP chapter, Black Students United and the Psychology Club, as well as Females of Culture United for Success (FOCUS), for which she acted as historian and president. Powell is also a member of the Pi Tau Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. “I wanted to go to clubs not just for my resume, but for something that was meaningful to me,” she explained. These associations encouraged Powell’s leadership skills and commitment to social justice, which she leveraged to score a life-changing paid summer internship through Adelphi’s Jaggar Community Fellows Program.

In 2016, Powell interned at Five Towns Early Learning Center in Inwood, NY, which provides quality early childhood education and care for children with working parents. Her observations at the center translated into a culminating presentation on alternative curricula for children with learning differences. Powell’s focus on children “learning through play” parallels her own history with hands-on learning at Adelphi, which allowed her to dive deep into transformative experiences that shaped her career trajectory. “That internship was a wonderful opportunity,” she said. “The Center for Career and Professional Development has played an integral part in helping me prepare for my future.”

In addition to the resources that gave her a leg up in professional development, Powell is deeply grateful for the personal connections she’s made at the Career Center. After applying for the Adelphi Mentoring Program, Powell was paired with Bernadine Waller, M.A. ’10, associate director of experiential learning, who became a crucial confidante. “I never thought I would grow so close to my mentor and appreciate her as much as I do,” Powell said. “Bernadine is always willing to help, whether it’s with academic or life pursuits. I know she has my best interests at heart.”

After Powell graduates this year, she plans to strengthen her skills by interning with an organization that specializes in substance abuse issues. A master’s degree in social work will follow, which Powell hopes to use to realize her professional goals, including opening a women’s shelter and a rehabilitation center for substance abuse.

From learning interview preparation tricks to finding a powerful support network, Powell credits Adelphi with promoting an institutional culture that puts student development first. The University’s distinctive environment for self-discovery also helped Powell create a personalized program of study where she could pursue her passions. In a few short months, Powell won’t just graduate Adelphi with a degree in psychology—she’ll be leaving with the tools to ignite her career and effect change in her community.

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