To Give Back
As with all great institutions of higher education, Trinity relies on the continuing generosity and loyalty of alumnae, alumni, parents and friends to keep it strong. Your support, whether new or continued, is your opportunity to help support a new generation of Trinity students. Annual Fund giving, in any amount, expresses the enduring commitment that binds the Trinity family from one generation to the next. Meet current Trinity students who benefit from the generosity of alumnae and friends through the Trinity Annual Fund:
Brittannie Muhammed ’12 arrived with her family in the Washington area shortly after fleeing her hometown of New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. As an employee of the Veterans Administration, her mother was able to transfer to Washington, and they resettled in Alexandria, Virginia. Brittannie found herself in a new school, T.C. Williams High School, a new area of the country, and with a fresh perspective.
A veteran Girl Scout, Brittannie learned of Trinity’s long-time scouting affiliation at a college fair. Trinity’s small size and culture of sisterhood were also attractive, especially since she was still adjusting to the dramatic changes in her life.Brittannie admits that her new experience at Trinity was difficult and scary at first, but she soon gained the sense of independence that college life brings, and enjoyed Trinity’s sisterhood and sense of community. She also recognized that Trinity “influences higher achievement because it is so valued.”
As a psychology major, Brittannie has excelled academically, and was selected for the prestigious Sr. Seton Cunneen ’65 Summer Fellowship. She spent ten weeks during the summer of 2010 at Centro Nia (Washington, D.C.) working with young people in the Summer Youth Employment Program. Brittannie found that the challenges of Hurricane Katrina and her family’s resettlement in Washington made her empathetic to the students, and she greatly enjoyed exposing the program participants to different aspects of life through the cultural diversity of Centro Nia’s programs.
As an extension of this experience, Brittannie sees herself returning to New Orleans after college to work with children to “help them learn that there is a huge world out there to explore.” She reflects that Hurricane Katrina has been a mixed blessing, giving her Trinity, and an appreciation for the unexpected.
Brittannie has achieved much as a Trinity junior—she was awarded the Paul C. and Camilla Lindsay Aiken Scholarship as a sophomore; she is an active member of Psi Chi, the psychology honor society; and she is president of and recruiter for Hearts and Crafts, a Trinity student club that makes hand-crafted items for children’s charities. She plans to attend graduate school, possibly studying abroad, and gaining new cultural influences.
Washington, DC, native, Tia Garrett ’11, was seeking a local school that had a similar feel to her high school, the School Without Walls. She knew other women who attended Trinity that spoke of Trinity’s comfortable setting, reduced distractions and small, intimate environment. Tia felt Trinity was the place for her.
Tia’s strong academic skills were evident when she was invited to participate in the Trinity Honors Program. Along with maintenance of a 3.0 grade point average, the program emphasizes self knowledge and intellectual risk-taking. Her focus and drive have made her a regular on the Dean’s List and her leadership skills are noted by her peers.
Many students cite the reserved young woman as a leader and often follow her example. As a sophomore she applied for a position as a resident assistant (RA) in her dorm. Traditionally, upperclassmen serve as RAs, so a sophomore applicant was a surprise. She was selected and was informed that she was the first sophomore to hold the position.
Because of her interest in children, Tia initially considered pursing a degree in education, but she did not feel a calling to the classroom. Since she liked psychology and felt that she could still positively impact children through this discipline, she decided to focus on developmental psychology.
Tia’s passion for working with children is evident through her extra-curricular activities. Since 2007 she has worked at the National Center for Children and Families in Bethesda, Maryland, as a teacher’s aide, office assistant, and supervisor of summer youth workers. She has also served as a mentor for the past two years providing friendship, encouragement and an excellent example to fourth and fifth grade girls.
Her time at Trinity has paired well with her interests and desires for a college education. Tia appreciates the bonds and relationships she has experienced with other students and her professors, the support of Trinity’s faculty, and the many opportunities for leadership. She has been a Reunion student worker, Orientation Leader, and member of Psi Chi—the International Honor Society in Psychology—where she plans to run for president. Tia plans to pursue a master’s degree in school psychology following graduation in May.
Sydney Cross ’10, a native of St. Louis, Missouri, discovered Trinity through a very unconventional route. A committed member of the Girl Scouts, she was on a Scout- sponsored trip to London when one of her travelling companions spoke of Trinity. Sydney was curious, and did her research online and by telephone. She liked what she learned and applied to Trinity—sight unseen.
Upon arrival in Washington, Sydney quickly put her leadership skills to good use as freshman class vice president. In addition to involvement with the Trinity community, she took advantage of Trinity’s Washington location from day one. She interned with the Democratic National Committee in 2008, and attended the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado. While there, Sydney became involved with the Black Caucus of the College Democrats of America, and was subsequently elected vice president. She later secured a job with the State Department in the Bureau of Administration’s Information Privacy Office. Many opportunities followed, including her attendance at various political events around town and on Capitol Hill, where she met Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
An international affairs major, Sydney’s interest in social sciences began in high school when she took a test that matched her with a career in the Foreign Service. She cites her Trinity professors as inspirational, providing her with opportunities to explore many fields along the way that helped to shape her interest. Thanks to the Advanced College Credit program through Saint Louis University and the Dual Enrollment Program through Saint Louis Community College at Florissant Valley, Sydney graduated a year early with the Green Class of 2010.
Sydney’s studies and work experiences have prepared her well. She is one of 20 selectees for the coveted Rangel Graduate Fellowship program that provides a path to careers in the Foreign Service with full financial support through two years of graduate study, internships, and professional development. Following commencement, Sydney travelled to Israel with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Campus Allies Mission program. Her Rangel Fellowship will begin with an internship on Capitol Hill this summer in the office of Congressman John Conyers, Jr. She will be attending Howard University for graduate school in the fall.
Morgan Kellman’11 of Middletown, Maryland, wanted a big city, political experience when she began looking for colleges. She and her family took tours of several campuses in the nation’s capital, but when they landed at Trinity something clicked during the campus tour—it felt like home and she immediately fell in love with the atmosphere.
Despite her plans to watch and observe her new surroundings for awhile, Morgan became involved in extracurricular activities right away. She soon joined Trinity’s basketball team and was also elected freshman class president. Morgan attributes this involvement to Trinity’s culture of encouraging students to feel confident, feel no fear of failure, and find comfort in a broad support system. In Morgan’s words, “Trinity fosters your potential.”
Morgan excelled in all of her academic and extracurricular endeavors. Her classroom experiences were positive and encouraging. But there was much more out there for Morgan to conquer. Growing up, Morgan experienced the world right there in her small Maryland hometown. Her family hosted several foreign exchange students over the years, one to whom she refers as her “brother.” She admired these students for their courage to experience other cultures. After studying Arabic at Trinity, she decided to take on the challenge and study in Egypt in the fall of her junior year.
Morgan studied at American University in Cairo for five months and credits her Trinity education in helping her to think broadly and be open to her experiences in Egypt. In addition to academics she eagerly learned about the many facets of Islamic culture and religion. She was treated warmly by those she encountered, welcomed fully, and encouraged to practice her Arabic language skills.
Morgan was recently elected Student Government Association president and will use her position to make sure that Trinity’s traditions are honored and practiced. She sees traditions as “something uniquely yours that can and must be shared with other generations.”
After relocating from her hometown of Miami to be close to her family in Maryland, Waseme Berry ’11 found a home at Trinity in an unexpected way. She planned on transferring to Howard University, but finding classes to fit her schedule was difficult while holding a full-time job. While on Howard’s campus she met a faculty member and Trinity graduate who suggested that Trinity’s School of Professional Studies (SPS) could accommodate her busy schedule. Waseme did not hesitate—she came over to Trinity immediately and was admitted for the spring of 2009.
Waseme found many more reasons to become a Trinity student. Her cousin had been a Trinity student and told Waseme that Trinity was small, a women’s college with a level of prestige that would make her proud. Waseme realized that Trinity’s SPS programs would give her the tools she needed to make her dreams of working with children come true, and she missed the atmosphere of her original undergraduate school in Florida that was also a small, Catholic college.
Most interested in the plight of children in distressing situations, Waseme discovered that a degree in human relations would equip her with the academic preparation to become an advocate for children and a reformer of the system. She has a passion for children’s issues and feels very fortunate to learn from faculty who are specifically trained in this area and can provide real-life perspectives to the matter.
Waseme’s dedication to her studies paid off when she made the Dean’s list. By fall 2009 she opted to concentrate on her education and increased her course load. This meant giving up her full-time job. She spent more time on campus, exploring the available opportunities. Knowing of Waseme’s excellent academic standing and the financial stress she was experiencing, Dean Michele Bowie suggested that Waseme enroll in the College of Arts and Sciences, which has more merit-based scholarships for academically qualified students. The staff in Enrollment Services was able to match Waseme with the prestigious Rita Dougherty ’35 Scholarship. With her financial worries eased, Waseme is able to fully concentrate on her classes.
Another unexpected benefit of studying at Trinity was the opportunity to take a voice class. Waseme’s existing talent has been beautifully fine tuned. She recently sang the National Anthem at the opening game of the Washington Freedom women’s professional soccer team. She also regaled a group of alumnae at a campus luncheon with a stunning rendition of a classic Puccini aria. Waseme is but one of many Trinity women with brains and talent.
Waseme was recently hired by the Department of Justice through the Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP) where she will work in the Office of Enforcement Operations. This experience will help her to reach her goal of becoming a Child Victim Specialist as she pursues a master’s degree in social work following her studies at Trinity. She is also a volunteer in the White House Office of Presidential Correspondence.
Paola Flores ’11 grew up in Hyattsville, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, DC. She and her family attended Sunday mass at the National Shrine on Michigan Avenue, passing Trinity on a weekly basis. While she first thought that Catholic University might be the school for her, she and her twin sister Andrea enrolled at Trinity. She has a vivid recollection of freshman orientation, and how the students shared breakfast with faculty and advisor s. It was like family.
The girls were born two months premature, small enough to fit in their mother’s palm, and overcame nearly insurmountable challenges at birth. Being able to begin college together and on-time was an incredible accomplishment. Paola and Andrea found a perfect fit at Trinity, and Paola believes that Trinity’s environment has helped them to remain close as sisters and as classmates, determined to succeed academically.
Growing up the daughter of a soccer coach, Paola loves sports and enjoys being a member of Trinity’s soccer and tennis teams. She recalls her early days in soccer as a freshman, assuming the role of “new kid on the block” with a team dominated by seniors. She struggled to earn her place on the team, and has used her experience wisely.
As a seasoned player, she now takes the lead in creating a welcoming environment for her team mates, especially newcomers. Of the discipline involved in playing sports, she says, “I have learned not to quit once I make a commitment. The experience has helped me to grow and to remain focused on my goals.”
Paola’s positive attitude serves as a beacon for her future. The daughter of Bolivian immigrants, she has seen desperate poverty in her parents’ homeland. She has witnessed her parents’ commitment to community service, and as she enters her senior year, the sociology major is looking into applying to the Peace Corps so that she might also make a difference in the world. She is committed to increasing educational opportunities for children in poverty, and dreams of opening schools in poor neighborhoods. As her father says, Paola has a “heart of gold.”
Jasmine Cosby ’12 is a Trinity sophomore majoring in nursing. Deciding to become a nurse was almost second nature to Jasmine because she has other health care professionals in her immediate family. While a student at Largo (Maryland) High School, she considered schools such as Johns Hopkins, Virginia Commonwealth and other area universities, but was concerned about the costs and did not want to begin her career in debt. She was also apprehensive about the large classes and being known as “a number” in a large school.
During her senior year, Trinity recruiters visited her high school. They told her that the small, private school had a great faculty that really gets to know their students. Jasmine applied to several schools, but in the end, she chose Trinity. Quality and affordability were factors in her decision and as she approaches the halfway point in her college experience, she knows Trinity was the right choice for her. “I am really learning. Teachers are a big help and stick with you until you get it,” says Jasmine.
Jasmine knows firsthand the impact that donors have on Trinity, as part of her financial aid award includes a work-study job in the Development office. She says of Trinity’s generous donors, “Because of their support I am able to earn a degree that will enable me to have a career, not just a job.”
Each and every gift counts. Trinity’s Annual Fund is essential and you are essential to the Annual Fund. Your participation in the Annual Fund is a strong expression of your affection for, and commitment to, Trinity. Foundations and corporations that are considering a grant to Trinity expect a high percentage of alumnae participation in the Annual Fund.
For Tax Advantages
Tax laws intentionally encourage charitable giving. Because of the income tax charitable deduction, anyone who makes a gift by December 31 and itemizes can reduce income taxes for that year. Trinity mails a receipt for every gift made to the University. For additional information you may contact Judy Tart at 202/884-9704 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or consult your financial advisor.