Student Success Story: Brittney Robinson

Brittney Robinson

Major: HDFS

Classing Standing: Senior

What are some of the things you’re involved in on and off campus?

On-campus, I am the president of the Voices of Freedom Gospel Choir, I work in the First Year Program office as a Super TA, and I work with the First Star Academy program as a tutor. Off-campus, I just do a lot of singing. I travel with an artist and perform with her. I have been singing since I was three.

How did you come to be involved in them?

A student here named Chelsea that I went to High School with told me about the choir. When I got to UConn I asked her if there were any good choirs and she told me about the one she was in.

The First Star Academy just started two years ago. The program offers college experience to adolescents in DCF. They come to UConn for about four weeks and we have classes and take them on different field trips. We really just want them to have a good college experience to motivate them to continue on with their education.

Can you tell us about some of things you’re responsible for as president of the UConn Gospel Choir Club?

I am mainly responsible for pulling together the events that we have. We have two concerts a year and we also travel throughout the year. Our biggest event is our spring tour where we travel to different states for five days straight as a choir. My responsibility includes planning all of that and making sure people have their money in on time. I speak with all the different artists and work closely with USG.

Can you describe your role as a Super TA with UConn’s FYE program?

I started off as a mentor and then moved on to a teacher’s assistant (TA). Now I supervise our TA’s as the Super TA. The TA’s are the ones that oversee the mentors. I am there to support the program and to help those who are currently in it with any questions they may have because I have been through the experience. I make sure everything is running smoothly and I also help with grading. I supervise the teachers and provide support for our freshmen and others involved in the program.

What’s the best part about working with UConn’s First Star Academy program?

It has given me a bit of a purpose. I was here at UConn and I wasn’t sure of my major, or where I wanted to go, or what I wanted to do. After working with this program I declared my major as HDFS because I realized I really wanted to work with students and adolescents; especially those that are marginalized and are in the DCF community because they really need help. They really need someone to push them and believe in them. Even being able to say “Hey, how’s homework going?” and checking in on them makes a difference because they never had that and it really showed me this is where I wanted to be. I wanted to be doing something where I was helping people and not stuck behind a desk. I appreciated doing work  hands on and really being able help. That is where my passion lies, in helping others.

What interests you about the things you’re involved in? (First Star Academy, FYE, Gospel Choir, etc.)

Collectively, they’ve all made me a better leader. What interests me about that is how I have been able to come into my own. I really didn’t know who I was when I first came onto this campus. Being involved in all these different areas from teaching to singing to mentoring has helped me realize that this is who I am. I am a person who is here to help others. All of the programs I am involved in exist to help people. The Choir helps people have a spiritual release, the Super TA position helps freshmen students’ transition into college and the First Star Program helps students in the DCF community. In all aspects I really am just here to help.

Do you have any post-grad plans?

My main plan is to get my Masters in Social Work. I am hoping to continue to gain experience in my field. I want to be involved in as much as I can though community service and things like that.

Based on your experiences, what advice would you give to your fellow students?

If there is something that you want to do, even if your back is against the wall and people are telling you that you can’t, just do it. I always tell people to find their passion because that will guide you to things that you wouldn’t even imagine. Even if it isn’t directly correlated to your major or career goals your passion is going to motivate you and push you. That is what happened to me. After freshmen year I wasn’t even sure if I would come back to UConn. But when I found my passion for service I knew this is what I wanted to do and that in order to do that I had to better myself. I knew I had to get a better education, I had to graduate, and I had to do all that I can to be in a position where I can give back. I don’t think I would be here if I hadn’t found my passion.

By Brittney Austin
Brittney Austin Communications Assistant