Awarded the Truman Scholarship for excellence in public service earlier this year, Dominique Beaudry’s passion for education and social change is evident in most everything she does. Teaching is her tool.
She tutors in Durham Public Schools and with Partners for Youth Opportunities Durham. This summer, Beaudry taught social studies to underserved Miami middle schools students who want to go to college.
“Along with content, I focused on building skills such as debate and graphing, forcing the students to engage inquisitively with history and to probe beyond the common narratives we may assume are true. I emphasized reading and writing heavily, and I tried to encourage them to learn for the sake of learning and for their own future. I grew immensely in my understanding of the importance of teaching as a craft, and teachers being sources of guidance, support, and exemplary leadership.”
“I cannot wait to be a teacher. I cannot wait to engage in leadership roles, to spread what I’ve learned and will learn to more schools and more children.”
The B.N. Duke Scholar has not limited her teaching to grade school. As Chair of the Duke Honor Council, Beaudry coaches her peers on moral courage and learning from mistakes. She also instructed “Intergenerational Ethics,” a house course for a blended class of undergraduates and Duke community members, including retirees.
“The word integrity is not really used in our generation, but I don’t think the meaning has changed,” says Beaudry. “My dad and I once had a really long talk where he emphasized how integrity is all you have. If you’re doing things right, if you can sleep at night, if you can be honest with people, you’re living your life well. If you follow your passion and pair it with intergrity, you’re going to be fine.”
Beaudry plans to follow her passion at the 2015 Truman Summer Institute where she hopes to intern at the White House, with the Cabinet Affairs or Domestic Policy Council. She intends to pursue a Ph.D. or dual Masters program combining public policy, economics, and education, before becoming superintendent for a large school district. First, she wants to teach 9th or 10th grade social studies.
“I feel like it’s a really critical time in adolescent development,” says Beaudry. “It’s a time when my friends and I were asking, ‘Do we want to go down this path or that path?’ It’s a time when there are a lot of decisions students might not have the most guidance on. So, I really want to act in that capacity as a teacher.”