Dominique Whitehead

As a high school student, Dominique Whitehead was never worried whether she could cut it as a college student, but instead was fearful of financing her college education.  By Dominique’s senior year, she had all but given up on the dream of going to a large, four year institution.  Her high school cross country coach, and mentor, provided her guidance and the hope she needed to apply to UF.  Her mentor not only urged her to apply but helped Dominique in figuring out the complicated processes of student loans, FAFSA information, and what the academic arena may look like.  

Quickly following her acceptance, Dominique realized her worries of affording a college education would soon be over.  Dominique would have the opportunity to show her academic strengths and pursue the education her mentor had so strongly recommended she seek out.   Upon receiving news of the Florida Opportunity Scholars program, Dominique remembers speaking with her mother, grandmother, and mentor from high school.  Each had similar reactions to the relief of financing her college education: disbelief, tears of joy, and utter amazement.

Dominique was soon paired with her FOS peer mentor and describes this mentor relationship as one of the most influential aspects of her college success.  Her mentor introduced her to many of her friends today, shared the common experience of a first generation student, and guided her through the experience of being a college student.  Dominique has also attributed much of her success to the workshops and professional development that the FOS program offers. From financial planning workshops, to strengths development, and how to thrive in an interview, the help has been invaluable.

Still today, Dominique takes her experiences to heart.  As a Health Science major with a track in Pre-Occupational Therapy, Dominique has found her passion in helping to mentor young students and hopes to become an Early Intervention Specialist.  This past summer, Dominique had the opportunity to travel to Hawaii, at the Pearl Harbor Hickam Joint Navy and Air Force Base, working with Camp Adventure Youth Services.  The camp works specifically with military children and is one of the most stressful, busy, yet fulfilling experiences of her life.

Dominique has been involved on campus and continues to make the most of her opportunities through the FOS program and the University in general. Dominique participates and holds active involvement as a FOS peer mentor, a member of the First Generation Student Organization, Take Stock in Children, Project Mascot mentor, and the After School Gators.  Dominique continues to remember her experiences, valuing the mentor relationships she has had, and fostering development and guidance within her own relationships.