The journey for Dominiqué Bynoe-Sullivan to become a teacher has been challenging, from her home in Brooklyn to a high school in Harlem to the University of Pennsylvania.
At Penn, she initially focused on becoming a physician, pursuing a major in microbiology. But during her sophomore year she changed direction, working with faculty to choose a major in public health, with a minor in urban education.
“I loved it,” she says. “I realized I really wanted to be a teacher.”
Bynoe-Sullivan says explaining her decision to her mother was challenging, because in her family’s Caribbean heritage becoming a doctor is so prized. However, her mother, an immigrant from Trinidad who worked in retail and childcare, supported her choice. Her father, a sanitation worker, had died several years earlier.
The urban-education minor at Penn includes four academic tracks for undergraduate students and provides a pathway for students like Bynoe-Sullivan to go on to earn their master’s degree and certification from Penn’s Graduate School of Education. All of the minor’s tracks involve fieldwork in local schools.
“Dominiqué is a great example of the kinds of Penn undergraduates we love to see, someone who cares about equity and social justice, and is attracted to teaching as a way to make an impact in the world,” says GSE Dean Pam Grossman.