March 26, 2010
By MOISEKAPENDA BOWER
With her father Tyrone Washington having lettered in basketball at Rice (1980-84), Owls junior sprinter Brittany Washington had previously subscribed to the prevailing notion of familiarity breeding contempt.
She was all too accustomed to the campus and culture of Rice, and was convinced that her identity would be best carved elsewhere. But Washington could not deny that Rice felt like home, and now that she has developed into the multifaceted individual she always longed to be, Rice proved to be the ideal destination for Washington to mature.
"I never really wanted to go to Rice because I didn't want to follow in my dad's footsteps, but when I went on my visit I knew this is where I wanted to be," Washington said. "I've liked it more than I expected.
"I'm really glad that I've had the college experience where you come in and want to improve and be a better person. You want to have some different experiences, and I've had that. I can't wait to see what it's going to be like a year from now when I actually get ready to walk through the Sallyport again and I'm going to graduate on commencement day."
Washington has parlayed her passion for helping children and her extensive experience in serving them into a potential career option that sates her desire to be of benefit to young people. She has volunteered at Texas Children's Hospital, DePelchin Children's Center, Houston Food Bank and Big Brothers Big Sisters. Those experiences correlate to her summer internships with Deloitte, where the focus on talent delivery has sparked an interest within Washington for campus recruitment. Before setting sail for Rome, where she will study abroad this coming fall semester, Washington will spend a second summer interning with Deloitte further sharpening her skills in talent acquisition and delivery.
Working so closely with so many different constituencies requires abundant people skills, a trait Washington admittedly lacked upon her entry into college. But her striving to serve so many groups, in addition to her responsibilities in the classroom as a psychology major and on the track representing Rice, enhanced her ability to relate with others.
"I definitely had to develop them," Washington said. "I used to be really, really shy and quiet but as I got older ... I realized that I needed to be more open and talkative. I've had some time to develop that, especially with track because you travel all the time and always want to be cordial.
"It's really helped me a lot being an athlete at Rice to develop myself."
That personal growth will continue when Washington expands her horizons and takes classes outside of her field of study in Italy. She is looking forward to that experience as another opportunity build upon everything she has already absorbed, as a chance to learn even more about herself and the world so that in the future she can aid youth.
"I feel like I've learned a lot now," said Washington, who competes at 400 meters and in the sprint relay. "A year from now I really hope that I'm the full package and ready to go out into the corporate world."
By working around the clock to benefit children, Brittany Washington has displayed the dedication to be one of Tomorrows Leaders.
"I look up to those guys, they push me every day."
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