Advocating for Others

Brittany S. Green ’17 graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in sociology. Currently, she is working as an assistant case manager at a Richmond law firm while taking classes at Virginia Commonwealth University. Her ultimate goal: To obtain a master’s degree in criminal justice and a certificate in homeland security so that she can help crime victims. Thanks to thoughtful and generous donations from UMW donors, she is closer than ever to reaching that goal.

A first-generation college student from Tappahannock, Virginia, Brittany credits the Rappahannock Scholars program for guiding her to Mary Washington. The unique privately funded partnership between UMW and six high schools in the Northern Neck region of Virginia encourages college-level study for students who show promising academic and leadership characteristics.

Scholarship donors Joseph J. Cella, III and Kathy Ford Cella meet Brittany Greene ’17 (right) during the 2017 Donor Appreciation Luncheon.

“I entered the program during my sophomore year at Essex High School, and was able to participate in three separate tours of the Mary Washington campus. Those positive experiences and the community aspect of the program helped me feel at-home, and I could visualize myself becoming a part of campus life,” says Brittany. “Since I wasn’t born wealthy, I knew I was going to need a lot of financial assistance. Thankfully, I received several scholarships, so I was able to attend UMW and focus on my classes, participate in clubs, hold leadership positions, and even volunteer.”

During her four years at UMW, Brittany benefited from the C. Jarrett and Hazel Small Wilkins Scholarship in Social Sciences (2016-17), the Cora Lee Kaufmann Scholarship (2016-17), the Emily Cella Scholarship (2014-16), and the Lalla Gresham Ball Scholarship (2013-17).

Brittany’s list of campus and community service activities is impressive. She worked as a student aid for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and served on the UMW Honor Council, the Judicial Review Board, and the Multicultural Leadership Committee. She volunteered as a peer mentor, was a TEAL sexual assault peer educator, and served as vice-president of the Black Student Association. In addition, she was a member of several honorary societies and volunteered in the community.

Of all the work she was involved with, Brittany says working with and helping victims had the most impact on her. “Some people going through bad things don’t have friends or family to talk to,” she says. “They just need someone there to hold their hand through the process and be with them all the way through recovery. I had a few experiences in which I know I made a difference, so I hope to continue doing that in a professional capacity.”

President Paino applauds Brittany Greene ’17 as Dean Cedric Rucker ’81 presents her with several awards during the 2017 Eagle Award Ceremony.

In April, Brittany was recognized at the UMW Eagle Awards Ceremony as the 2017 recipient of the Grace Mann Launch Award. Named in honor and memory of Grace Rebecca Mann, who “…had plans to make the world a better place, a place of peace and equality,” the special endowment provides funds to help launch recipients into post-college life while they pursue goals, promote equality, and/or serve as advocates for victims.

“Being a part of the campus community, I had a great sense of who Grace was as a person,” says Brittany. “Getting this award was an honor, and I am proud to be a part of her legacy. Mary Washington helped transform me into a better student, leader, and individual. I know I am more independent, mentally stronger, and more prepared. I’m now ready to go out and conquer the real world.”