Domonique Boyd (Class of 2020) is currently a senior at Fairleigh Dickinson University. Shortly after graduating from People’s Prep, Dominique became pregnant with her son. In the latest edition of our Game Changers series, Domonique shares how she has been able to achieve success while balancing family, college, and career.
Tell us about what you’re up to now and how you got here.
I graduated in 2016, so I was part of the Class of 2020 (since People’s Prep’s graduating classes are named after the year they will graduate from college). I’m now attending Fairleigh Dickinson University. I switched to the independent study program when I got pregnant with my son. The campus is big, classes can be long, and I was pregnant, so I thought it would be better for me if I could take online classes so I didn’t have to do as much traveling and walking. The independent study program allowed me to choose which classes I wanted when I was ready to take them in ways that I couldn’t if I were following a traditional major. I have a concentration in psychology and communications and, through the program, I’m able to fulfill the requirements at my own pace.
What are some positions you hold at your school?
I started a program called Newark College Institute (NCI) as soon as I graduated from high school. It helps students from Newark become college-ready. They had a skills workshop and sessions where we would learn interviewing, professionalism, and how to create resumes and cover letters. We had mentors and I eventually became a mentor for two students. It allows kids from Newark to get together and guide each other through being a college student. Every winter they have a retreat where you can network with employers and get access to job opportunities through the Newark Summer Employment Program.
I was also the vice president of All God’s Children which helps kids in college feel like they aren’t far away from their religion and give them a sense of home away from home. A lot of colleges have what seems like every program in the world, but very few religious programs. So this was created to help Christian students get together and worship.
What has been a game-changing experience for you while you have been in college, and how has that influenced your plans after graduation?
The pandemic has been a game changer for me because so many people are losing their jobs. I think that getting a higher degree is very important and students should also consider looking into trade schools since trade jobs are always in demand. It’s been a reality check for me to see that people who are surviving aren’t always surviving off a traditional degree, but you definitely do need some kind of education after high school to be successful in this environment.
What advice would you give to seniors who are thinking about going to college and don’t know what to major in?
I think it’s smart to explore what it is you want to do before declaring a major. A lot of students go to school and change their major six or seven times and then end up having to go to school for another year or two. Take your gen ed classes and get them out of the way first. That will help you figure out what you are interested in and save you time and money in the long run.
What are you most looking forward to after graduation?
I currently work at Newark Beth Israel, and I’m hoping to move into administration. I need my degree for a lot of the positions I want to move into, so after I graduate I’m going to see what new doors are opened to me there.
What makes your college journey unique?
I am most proud of the fact that I had a son and I’m still in school. I did not expect the life of a parent to be as hard as it is because I’m also working while going to school. It takes a lot of discipline to do that. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, and it was so much harder when he was smaller. But I never let the fact that I work full-time stop me from getting my degree. I do want to give up sometimes, but I’m so proud of myself for continuing.