Grad finds passion for building community at NSU
As a first-generation college student at Northeastern State University, Dominique Clarke knew she wanted to become a lawyer based on her commitment to her parents, but she wasn't sure what that entailed.
NSU became her college of choice after she unexpectedly received the Frank Haven Memorial Scholarship. “Surprisingly, I didn’t have to apply because it was automatically awarded to those graduating with a high GPA,” Clarke said.
Being far from home, Clarke had worried about the level of inclusivity on campus and the opportunity to get involved, but her concern melted away quickly. “NSU hosted a lot of events to meet new people and join campus organizations,” Clarke said. “I not only participated in clubs I was interested in, but I was also inspired to create my own fashion organization.” Clarke later held leadership roles at multiple organizations all geared toward providing a safe space for students to flourish on campus as well as give back to the community.
Clarke graduated with a degree in criminal justice and legal studies with a minor in communications. Becoming a lawyer was the initial plan, but she later discovered she wanted to fulfill her passion in a different way.
Clarke launched her career at Family & Children Services as a case manager to advocate and be a resource for those suffering from mental illness and homelessness in hopes of ensuring self-sufficiency. She later transitioned to the Tulsa Workforce system, focusing on community access to career services and employee development. Here she discovered that being hands-on at the root of the problem was how she wanted to make a difference. While doing so, she continued to grow and ultimately became Deputy Director for the full Workforce Center. Using the skills learned, she developed other employees supporting this population and expanded access to those in the Tulsa community.
“I learned that helping people on a community level by providing opportunities to work and prosper is where my heart truly lies,” Clarke said. “I’d rather put my energy toward ensuring there are enough resources available for everyone to succeed at the start rather than after the fact.”
Today, Clarke works as the Director of Member and Alumni Experience at Tulsa Remote where she helps bring the people new to Tulsa a sense of community, and the resources to succeed in their new environment.
“It’s an honor to be a part of the process of investing in Tulsa and helping it become a more desirable city,” Clarke said. “I have the pleasure of supporting people new to Tulsa and showing them that this can be their forever home.”
She credits the university for the abundant opportunities to gain professional skills through campus jobs and classes. It allowed her to easily discover the right career for her despite not following her initial plan.
“The affordability of the college and the access to a variety of skills makes it a great option for students who are uncertain of which career path to choose because no matter what, RUSO graduates leave with valuable skills to pursue any career they choose,” Clarke said.