USC Price School of Public Policy

Price Student Q&A: Brittany Aquino

Hometown: Gardena, CA
Major: Public Policy

Q. What inspired you to choose your major?

A. As a first generation student, the idea that I will be able to focus on a subject that will allow me to fight for justice and be the voice for the voiceless motivated me to choose this major. Learning about policy and working with the track of philanthropy, non-profits and social innovation will give me the opportunity to build a pathway of knowledge and experience to create the change for the underrepresented. This is what inspired me to choose this major, since I can learn how I can apply this knowledge to create change. In the past I have been working side by side with non-profits and I have been able to witness the impact these amazing organizations have, now I am learning how policy can also create an impactful change.

Q. What opportunities has Price afforded you?

A. Sol Price has allowed me to take part in amazing opportunities this past semester. I have been given the opportunity to grow as a student and especially as a leader since I was able to participate in two conferences for Sol Price. It was especially an honor to present in the event “Breakfast with the Dean” to talk about my experience as a first generation student. Another amazing experience has been participating in my PPD 371 course where my peers and I had the chance to be philanthropists and give a non-profit a grant that will aid them in their mission financially. Each of my PPD courses have had inspirational guest speakers and one of the very impactful guest speakers that I met was Michael A. Wood Jr. He is an advocate and the founder of Veterans Stand for Standing Rock, and it was an amazing opportunity to discuss the current injustices that have been occurring with him. Lastly, I am incredibly thankful for all the advice that I have received about my progressive degree and future plans from my Price counselor, professors, and mentors. It has been a blessing to be able to be part of the Trojan family as a Price student.

Q. What skills have you developed in your time at Price?

A. Through Sol Price I have been able to develop skills that have been very beneficial for my success at USC. Price has allowed me to strengthen my critical thinking, problem solving, and networking skills. By increasing my knowledge about the multiple problems our society faces, I have the chance to develop the skills to think critically to help address and solve the problems.

Q. What are your future career plans?

A. My future career plan consists of earning a masters and a doctorate degree. My goal is to empower women and minorities in our surrounding communities and I am planning to do so by creating a network of non-profits so that they can take the initiative to contribute their services and research to help improve the lives of the community members. I will advocate for those who are neglected by society and I will create the change that is needed.

Q. What is the best advice anyone has given to you regarding your education?

A. The best advice that I have received about my education is to not give up and to be open to listen and learn. Throughout these next semesters, I will know how to apply what I learn in class to the outside world. I just need to keep persevering.