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Princess Garrett ’02

 

princess garrett2Princess Garrett ’02 (Classical High School) graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 2007 with a B.A. in Journalism and minors in Leadership Studies and Women’s Studies. “During my senior year of high school, I had no clue what I wanted to study in college,” she says, “but I took a journalism class with an amazing teacher, Mrs. Klus. Our project was to create and distribute a newsletter for our senior class. I absolutely loved the process of creating the newsletter and interviewing people for the articles I wrote. I would stay after school with Mrs. Klus and talk about my passion for writing, which had been my hobby since third grade. She was the first person who told me that my written work moved her. The combination of her passion for writing and her encouragement pushed me to major in journalism.”

After earning her degree, Princess served as an AmeriCorps state member at Mt. Hope Learning Center, where she taught enrichment courses for children and managed volunteers. She then served as an AmeriCorps VISTA, operating a program called Service Bridge to Work. “This program paired nonprofit organizations across Rhode Island with women and men who needed to gain more skills to better compete in the current job market,” she says.

At present, Princess works for the Pawtucket Public School Department as the GED Case Manager and Job Developer for the Pawtucket Adult Education Program. “The thing I love about the work I do is that I get to help others on a daily basis,” she says. “I am so happy that, in many cases, the work I do creates positive, meaningful change for people who need it.”

Princess certainly took full advantage of her college years. “For me, the best thing about college was the opportunity to grow and learn by getting involved in activities outside of the classroom,” she says. Princess was a Resident Assistant at URI for 4 years, served on the executive board of Uhuru SaSa for 5 years, and was a mentor for the Rose Butler Browne Women of Color group for 2 years. In addition, she was an intern in URI’s Office of the President and was selected from a nationwide pool of students for an internship from the Association of College & University Housing Officers – International (ACUHO-I). She traveled to North Carolina State University to work in new student orientation, Special Olympics, and the African American Symposium and represented URI at the ACUHO-I Rising Stars Conference in Milwaukee, Wisc.

Princess is thankful for the opportunities she had as a Crusader to see what life was like on campus and to get help with the college exploration and application process. She also appreciates the Crusader scholarship she received. “Without the scholarship, I would not have been able to afford to go to college,” she says. “My parents did not have a lot, and The College Crusade paid a sizeable portion of my bills for classes and for room and board each year.”

In her spare time, Princess reads a lot and enjoys traveling. “I am a huge music fan,” she adds, “so I have been going to a lot of music festivals along the East Coast. I also like painting, being outdoors, and working in the community.”

To high school Crusaders starting college in the fall, Princess offers this advice: “Pace yourself in the beginning of your college experience. Don’t get caught up in feeling like you have to participate in everything. Get used to your academic load and being in a new place. As you become comfortable with your life as a student, gradually add extracurricular activities in. Just don’t forget that your goal is to be a successful student.”