Alumni Spotlight: Robynique Willis-Brown

Name: Robynique Willis-Brown
High School Attended: Farmville Central High School
Home County: Pitt
College(s) Attended/ Years Attended: East Carolina University 2015- 2019
Major(s): Social Work
Minor(s): Undergraduate: Gerontology; Graduate: Substance Abuse
County Now Living In: Pitt
Employer: Vidant Medical Center, Leo Jenkins Cancer Center
Title: Social Work Case Manager
Start Date: September 16, 2019

What are some of your major accomplishments during college?

Some of my major accomplishments while in college would have to be earning my master’s degree, being the National Association of Social Workers graduate liaison, a testimonial speaker for Golden LEAF luncheons three years in a row, a student peer leader, and a member of five different campus organizations and giving back to my community. Each experience has shaped me to be the very best professional and person I can be in all I do.

What would you tell someone interested in applying for the Golden LEAF Scholarship about being a recipient?

I would say to definitely go for it! Being a recipient of this program is one of the best things that could’ve happened in my life. It prepared me to be a more professional young woman, a more driven individual overall and helped me understand that I can succeed, no matter how many odds are stacked against me. The Golden LEAF team is truly here to support, advocate and encourage you to be successful individuals in every aspect of life!

What helped you decide to live/ work in a rural area?

Honestly, this program and all the connections made through networking as a Golden LEAF Scholar. This program made it possible for me to have the job I have today. I will be hired at the site of my very first internship acquired through the Golden LEAF Scholars Program. I am excited to begin.

What kind of leadership roles are you serving in currently?

I am the youth mentor at my church, where I meet with the youth weekly to teach and support them through biblical practices, conflict and daily obstacles. We spend time discussing things that they may have encountered during the week or skills on how to improve behaviors and resolve conflict.

What would you like to share about your personal or professional philosophies?

I would like all young people to know that, anything you put your mind to, you can do. If you come from a difficult background, such as myself, you don’t have to be where you come from. All things work together for the good! Keep pushing, don’t give up and remember you’re in control of your future, so make it great!

What did you learn during your experience in the Golden LEAF Scholars Leadership Program?

Words can’t express all I have learned through the Golden LEAF Scholars Leadership Program personally and professionally. I have learned things from my personal strengths, that I wasn’t even aware of, to financial support and the importance of 401k, life insurance and investment. For me this program was critical to my life, because unlike most I don’t have a parent to teach me these things. I was a foster child and lacked parental guidance, so all I know was attained through life experiences and gained knowledge.

What internship experiences did you have?

My first internship, as previously stated, was in the Leo Jenkins Cancer Center back in 2016 with a Social Worker. For the next two summers I served as the social work intern in Pruitt Health Skilled Nursing Facility of Farmville. Both positions have aided me in numerous ways from solidifying my career choice to overall enhancing the care I provide to each patient.

Did your experiences help shape your decision to live/ work in rural areas? If so, how?

Yes, it definitely did ultimately. When starting the program I had many ideas as to what I wanted to do after graduation, but by the time I had completed the program things changed. The program opened so many doors for my career path and aided me in making connections that I couldn’t just forget about. In the future I hope to excel and impact lives worldwide, but as a recent graduate I am so very grateful for the people and support that I have acquired through Golden LEAF.

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