Providence Rhode Island is where Brown University is located and where Jamaican native Carrie Ann Gordon has chosen to attend. “I am not necessarily sure if I chose Brown or if Brown chose me. I applied to a decent amount of schools in the U.S. because I wasn’t really sure what I was looking for and Brown accepted me. They offered a good amount of scholarship or financial aid so that was also part of the reasons why I came here and it also had a really good liberal arts vibe,” she says.
Brown says you do not have to chose your major, you don’t have any core requirements, you could do whatever classes you wanted to do and then from there choose what you wanted to do for your life.”
Chemistry and Africana Studies are the two subjects Carrie Ann is majoring in at the university. She says Brown is a place where the people and the faculty make you feel welcome and glad that you are going there. “Right now, in the Chemistry department if I need help applying to graduate school, I’ve been able to talk to numerous professors and just say like ‘hi my name is Carrie Ann. I was wondering if you have heard of this school. This program. What do you think I should focus on if I am applying to Chemistry graduate school?’ They have been really supportive,” she says.
“The Africana Studies department which is the second department that I deal with are really nice. They are just amazing people in the way that they embrace you and they want to know if you are okay, if you see them on the streets they will say hello. Sometimes they will pull you and say ‘hey, do you want lunch?’ So that is definitely good,” she says.
“The atmosphere at Brown has been really good for the most part. I haven’t had problems finding friends and there are people here who are of Jamaican decent so they are American, but their parents may be from Jamaica and that helps in some sort of a commonality. Also, the year I came to Brown two other Jamaicans came so I wasn’t alone in that and I am actually good friends with one right now,” she says.
“It is a pretty good environment. The deans are supportive and there is an advisory system and if you know how to use it, it can be extremely beneficial to your life.”
This is Carrie-Ann's senior year and she realizes that attending Brown has helped her reach her full potential to doing whatever she wants to do in life. “I think education is more than sitting in a college classroom and learning numbers and I guess chemical formulas in my field of study,” she says. “I think education is about learning about the world around you and how you yourself can contribute to the world. Jamaica doesn’t have the best educational system in the world and I think it is not because they don’t have a good syllabus or a good idea of what they should be teaching people, its just that education isn’t accessible to everyone and because not everyone can get the education that they need to survive or thrive in that society we have poverty and I guess people not being able to reach their full potential.”
Carrie-Ann says regardless what she does she will be going back home to help her country. “When choosing my major I was like I can’t choose something that I couldn’t utilize there because if I plan to live there and I choose a major that I can’t get a decent job or gainful employment then I am wasting my time at Brown,” she says. But what I realize is that getting a degree that you can use off the bat, like being a doctor knowing you can do medicine, but if getting a degree that you love and that I can use to like create a life of my own so that I can create the job that I want there and I believe that if I am able to find exactly what I want to do in my life and I know I want to do it there, then I will be willing to work to utilize whatever resources I have to be able to build whatever I want to build there,” she says.
“I think my education whatever it is can be used like I don’t necessary think the choice of like what my major is, but more of me being happy with what I have learned at Brown and utilizing it in anyway I see fit at home and that will be beneficial to my country.”