Illness and injury sidetracked Dominique Lindsay for a while but didn’t stop her from completing her college degree.
On Dec. 16, the 26-year-old Magnolia native graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with plans to someday work as a grief counselor.
Dominique started her college education at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia but moved to Little Rock in 2012 to be close to a boyfriend. She transferred to UA Little Rock and began working on a psychology degree in 2013. Although the boyfriend didn’t work out, college has.
“I fell in love with the criminal mind, and I had dreamed of being a profiler, but then I became more realistic and decided to be a therapist,” she said.
Her first setback came in 2015.
“I let stress get to me and went back to Texas to be near my parents,” she said. “I took a year off to work. It’s easy when you take a break to lose momentum.”
She began online classes in 2016 and was doing well until the beginning of 2017 when she became seriously ill, coughing up blood. Doctors ran numerous tests and told her to wait.
A few weeks later, Dominique boarded a bus in Texas to go visit friends in Minnesota. Somewhere in Oklahoma, the call from the doctor’s office came: she had tested positive for tuberculosis. She turned home to recover for a few months. By fall 2017, she felt well enough to return to campus.
Then in September, she was walking back to her apartment after attending an evening event on campus when a turning car struck her on Asher Avenue.
“I felt like I couldn’t win for losing,” she said. “This past year has been tough. I rushed myself to get back to class because I didn’t want to get further behind.”
She found support and encouragement from staff in the World Languages Department, where she is a student office worker.
With all that behind her, she is contemplating graduate school. She hopes to be a grief counselor and is particularly interested in the area of suicide prevention.
“I had high school classmates who committed suicide,” she recalled. “Everyone needs someone they can confide in and to know that someone cares.”
At commencement, Dominique will have several people cheering her on at the Jack Stephens Center – her mom, stepfather, niece, nephews, and four younger sisters will all be there to see her graduate.
“My mom is super excited,” Dominique said. “I sent her photos in my cap and gown, and she already has it as her profile photo on Facebook. She’s the reason I never gave up.”