Alumna Believes in the Power of Mentorship
Brittany Pearsall dreamed of leaving her hometown of Lakewood behind to attend a four-year university. Unfortunately, soon after graduating high school, unexpected financial hardship derailed her plans. Pearsall, a first-generation college student, chose Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C®) for its affordable path toward bachelor’s degree completion.
While attending classes at the Westshore Campus in Westlake, Pearsall discovered a passion for helping others. In addition to joining student government and becoming a student ambassador, she took the lead in creating the campus’ first student food pantry. She lobbied Congress on behalf of community colleges in Washington, D.C., and represented more than 55,000 Tri-C students as president of the Joint Student Council. Her collaborative work with students and staff led to recognition as Westshore Student of the Year.
After graduating from Tri-C in December, 2016 with two associate degrees, Pearsall transferred to Cleveland State University to earn a bachelor’s degree in health sciences, with a minor in psychology. She currently serves as a mentor for College Now Greater Cleveland.
“There are very few aspects of the college experience more important than forming meaningful mentoring relationships,” she said. “Students need mentors to assist in navigating the complexities of higher education and the uncertainty of post-college life.”
Pearsall serves on Tri-C’s Alumni Council and works as concierge at the College’s District Office in downtown Cleveland. She is pursuing a Master of Education in adult learning and development at Cleveland State University.
Her experiences at Tri-C, particularly interactions with her own mentors, helped Pearsall realize that she alone is responsible for achieving her goals.
“No one else is going to make something happen for you besides you,” she said. “Speak up and advocate for yourself — because if you don’t, someone will always speak over you.”