Brittannie Muhammed ’12
Brittannie Muhammed ’12 found friendships and a strong support system in the Trinity community, an unexpected blessing following some incredibly difficult high school years.
Brittannie arrived in the Washington area under harsh circumstances. After growing up in New Orleans, her family lost everything in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Her mother was able to transfer to Washington, and they resettled in Alexandria, Virginia, leading Brittannie to finish her junior and senior years of high school, at a new school in a new area of the country.
After all of the changes she had experienced, making friends and fitting in was very challenging. “I graduated with strangers,” Brittannie confided. She was concerned that college would be the same, but that was before Trinity. Trinity’s small size and culture of sisterhood and support gave Brittannie the opportunities she needed to forge lasting connections and friendships.
The “Girl Scout” School
A Girl Scout since she was five years old, Brittannie learned of Trinity’s long-time scouting affiliation almost by accident at a college fair. She was talking with a recruiter at a table next to Trinity’s and she brought up her scouting experience. The Trinity representative heard her and piped right up. “‘Come to my table,’ he said,” Brittannie related, laughing. “ ‘We’re the Girl Scout school!’ “
Brittannie soon found out that the recruiter was right. Trinity offered scholarships to Girls Scouts and Troop Leaders. There were social events, too, helping the Girl Scouts around campus to connect. A self-proclaimed introvert, making friends did not come easily for Brittannie and having scouting in common with her classmates was a real advantage.
Hearts and Crafts and Connections
In addition to Girl Scouts, Brittannie found many ways to connect with her fellow Trinity classmates. A psychology major in the College of Arts & Sciences, she is an active member of Psi Chi, the psychology honor society. She also participates in the Psychology Club on campus.
In addition, Brittanie is president of, and recruiter for, the Hearts and Crafts Club, a Trinity student organization that makes hand-crafted items for good causes. They meet weekly and can often be found knitting. “Our latest accomplishment,” Brittannie shared with pride, “was knitting bookmarks for all of the Dean’s List recipients!”
Their biggest annual project is creating baby blankets, which they then donate to the children’s hospital just down the road from Trinity, Children’s National Medical Center. While Trinity provides student organizations money for materials, Brittannie found a way expand the resources even more. “We simply asked all the teachers and faculty and staff for fleece. The donations were great!”
In addition to her many social activities, Brittannie has also found excellent academic support at Trinity. The small class size and sense of community helped her gain a sense of independence and she really appreciates the support she’s received from the faculty and staff.
“People have your back,” Brittannie points out. When Brittannie was speaking with a staff member at an event during her sophomore year, the staff member told her about a fellowship opportunity that Brittannie had not heard of, previously. Brittannie did a little research, and buckled down and applied.
To her great pleasure, she 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 helped plan daily activities. She was even able to develop a photography workshop that explored history and gentrification of the Columbia Heights neighborhood where Centro Nia is located.
Plans for the Future
Brittannie has grand plans for the remainder of her time at Trinity and beyond. She would like to keep expanding the Hearts & Crafts Club reach, with more blankets, more challenges like the Dean’s List bookmarks, and even more blog posts. A Spanish minor, she would love to study abroad, ideally in a Spanish-speaking country. Post graduation, Brittannie hopes to return to New Orleans, in a capacity similar to her fellowship. She would like to work with the young who are still there to share with the world possibilities she now knows exist.
For Brittannie, Hurricane Katrina was “a blessing in disguise.” It dissolved the life she knew, but it allowed her the opportunity to build a better one. “It helped me discover the world,” Brittannie said with a smile. “It gave me Trinity.”
Make Your Own Difference at Trinity
What will you accomplish with the Trinity community at your back? Lead your own club? Make a difference in someone’s life? Discover the world? Learn more now by requesting an information packet!