WNC graduate takes road less traveled | NevadaAppeal.com

WNC graduate takes road less traveled

Steve Yingling
Special to the LVN
Brittany Esposito of Fallon has found a way to balance her pursuit of a college education with a commitment to help raise her extended family.
SPECIAL TO THE LVN |

Navigating the obstacles that life has presented Brittany Esposito could have sidetracked or crushed the Western Nevada College graduate’s educational goals.

Coming from an economically challenged family of 13 brothers and sisters in Fallon, Esposito found a way to balance her pursuit of a college education with a commitment to help raise her siblings, nieces and nephews, and also provide a steady income to her large family.

“I have strived to conquer the obstacles of life and pursue my dreams of achieving a degree and becoming an elementary school teacher,” she said. “It is important for me to be a great example for my younger family members.”

So, when Esposito graduated with an Associate of Arts degree, all her dedicated work and self-sacrifices has been worth it.

As much as Esposito means to her family, she has been equally important to WNC. Esposito has been an ambassador for the college, assisting prospective students and being a role model to her fellow students.

“In the 13 years I have been at WNC, we have been fortunate to have many outstanding students,” said WNC Counselor Ron Marrujo. “But I cannot think of anyone who has given more of themselves or had more of a positive impact on our students, faculty and the reputation of this college than Brittany Esposito.”

In addition to her studies and family obligations, Esposito has been a student support specialist for WNC for the past 2½ years. She has helped with the recruitment of high school seniors, working specifically with the college’s Bridge to Success program and the newly Jump Start College High School Partnership program.

“I have had the greatest opportunity to provide essential support to faculty members, students and potential students,” Esposito said. She was one of four students selected in 2012 to appear on a TV commercial promoting WNC. To assist new students, she promoted and organized Fallon’s Summer Bridge program, which helps freshmen transition academically from high school to college.

“As an academically successful student who must meet outside challenges of finance and family, she is not only a role model for her younger family members but for all of her peers at Western Nevada College and the other community colleges in the state of Nevada,” Marrujo said. “She is a driving force in maintaining a positive environment on the Fallon campus of WNC.”

Her college experience has included assistance in processing paperwork for veterans who apply for admission, financial aid and admission documents, and cashiering.

“To students, she is the face of Western Nevada College,” Marrujo said. “She is always enthusiastic, welcoming and professional in her interactions with students and is an integral part of campus recruitment efforts. She provides incoming students with essential guidance through the admission process and her contribution to recent recruitment campaigns is considerable.”

Esposito accomplished all of this while maintaining a 3.64 grade point average. She’s been on the Dean’s List and has served as an officer for Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. Recently, she organized the PTK induction ceremony.

Looking back, Esposito remembers testing the waters of higher education, gradually immersing herself into WNC after graduating from Churchill County High School in 2006.

“I honestly did not know where I was going to go. I started with one class,” she said.

“A lot of single moms come in and they work at the same time. That’s very motivating,” Esposito said. “Seeing their struggles really pushed me to where I wanted to go.

“The opportunities I have received at Western Nevada College have further instilled my desire to become an elementary school teacher.”

After Tuesday’s graduation, Esposito plans to enroll in Nevada State College in Henderson and complete her Bachelor of Education degree to become an elementary school teacher or a school counselor.