EASY MAGAZINE: Dominique all about social responsibility
YOU CAN CALL Dominique Lovell an overachiever. The aspiring social worker just graduated from the University of the West Indies with a first class honours degree in social work from the faculty of Social Sciences.
She was also the valedictorian of the entire University of the West Indies graduating class of 2016, and the 21-year-old isn’t finished yet.
When she sat down with EASY magazine recently at the picturesque Miami Beach along Enterprise in Christ Church, the past student of St Bartholomew’s Primary School was filled with many words of gratitude for those who helped her to reach the zenith in academia at the undergraduate level.
Lovell revealed that she had not been expecting to become valedictorian because at one point she was away on a Canadian scholarship in Calgary, Alberta, from January to May this year and so believed others would not know enough about her to vote her in as overall top student.
“So you know I was the most surprised student when they called me telling me that I was valedictorian because though I’m pretty well known I was away from campus and I thought most people would forget about my involvement over that time,” she said. Lovell, who hails from Parish Land, Christ Church, said that her whole life was about adjusting to the curve balls life threw at her.
One such time was the “big” move from primary to secondary school.
St Bartholomew’s, known as a country school tucked under a hill in rural Parish Land, was one which proved to provide Lovell with just what she needed as a great educational institute.
“My dad [David Lovell] believed wherever I went, I would do well. I had no problems; I enjoyed my primary school experience. I would walk home with everybody in the community, go outside and play games. If there were any problems, oh dear everybody knew you,” she said, laughing, and then sighing.
“I felt like everyone was friends and everyone knew each other I did not feel disadvantaged in the least, having gone to a small school, but when I got to Harrison College I realised that there were differences in that people from larger school had their friends already because it was just me and another guy [from St Bartholomew’s].”
Lovell said that it was a bit intimidating but with the rebound-type personality she has, the devout Christian who worships at Providence Methodist Church, said that she found she had no difficulty settling and making her own friends within the very first week.
“Regardless of where you go or attended school, no matter what the public opinion is, be it primary or secondary, you can always put your best foot forward to make the most of the situation and that is exactly what I did,” she added.
So, why social work?
Well, the travel enthusiast didn’t hesitate: “I really wanted something that I was passionate about; something I care deeply about are service and people. Social issues really bother me and I’ve always wanted to be a part of the solution, and social work definitely gives me the avenue to address those,” she added.
With no “fall back” career plan, Lovell, an only child, said that it was all about remaining committed to set dreams.
Lovell is very sure her current enrolment as an undergraduate law student will fit well with her social sciences degree.
The proud student said that she was given direct entry to pursue law at Cave Hill because of her outstanding academic grades.
“This has definitely been a learning curve so far, simply because I have not done any law courses and I basically began law in second year. So, I’m doing first year courses but I’m in my second year,” she explained. “I’m just trying to figure out the best way to handle each course and the teaching style of each lecturer. It’s just to adjust in twice the speed.”
Along with a system of extremely supportive parents, including mum Peggy Lovell, awesome friends both regionally and internationally, Lovell said that to keep her motivated she keeps in mind the daily mantra, “Do something today that your future self will thank you for.”
That, she said, usually helps. Uniquely, too, she refrains from telling those around her to have a “good day”.
“For me, it’s have a day and the reason why I like that is because people tell you have a good day, a great day all of these positive adjectives and you do want to have those days, . . . .But you will have days filled with confusion and frustration, going nothing like you thought it would but it’s like giving yourself the allowance to let things be.”
Ultimately, the self-confessed foodie said she was not about “stacking the money” but more so wanted to be remembered for the contribution she makes to society.
Recently, a quote Lovell used in her valedictory speech was trending on Facebook, “The Cave Hill Campus afforded us the opportunity to cross cultures when we could not afford to cross seas.”
She was also heard saying on graduation day, “Follow your instincts, refuse to disrupt your inner peace, maintain your integrity and only compare yourself with your former self.”
Lovell is following her own advice. (MR)