If given the opportunity, Samantha (Sam) Dominas could carry on a conversation about gerrymandering with a state representative or constitutional law scholar, even though she isn’t quite old enough to vote.
“I learned about gerrymandering (the redrawing of voting districts by a legislative majority to favor one political party) in my political science class with Professor (Brooke) Allen,” relates Dominas, recently selected as a democracy fellow with the national Campus Vote project. “Political science is a great field for people with strong communication skills and a passion for people.”
Political science, however, is not what the 17-year-old intends to major in.
“I have recently decided that I want to major in psychology,” offers Dominas. “I would like to transfer to a four-year university and get a bachelor’s degree. A master’s and potentially a doctoral degree are in my sights as well.”
Dominas entered college at the start of her junior year of high school in the Early College of Macomb program, with her tuition paid for by the school district. She attended high school and college classes simultaneously and is less than a year away from completing her associate degree and beginning work on her bachelor’s.
“I heard about the Early College of Macomb at school and decided to get a head start on my education,” says Dominas. “I am very grateful for the program that has allowed me to get ahead in my studies and provided so many resources and opportunities.”
While her studies, involvement with the Campus Vote project (she serves as its Macomb ambassador) and working for her dad consume much of her time, Dominas makes sure she doesn’t neglect her other interests. She loves to go camping with her parents and two younger sisters, reading, painting and spending time with dog Chloe.
“Being with family and friends,” she says, “fulfills me.”
Dominas will be able to register to vote in a few months and is “looking forward to exercising my right in the coming elections.” Meanwhile, she is following the meetings of the commission charged by voters to ensure a nonpartisan approach to the redistricting process.
“Michigan recently formed its first Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission to prevent gerrymandering,” explains Dominas, who has written a Campus Blog on the subject, which is now featured on www.macomb.edu. This year, they are working to develop the districts that will be implemented in the next cycle of elections, which is a huge deal. It is definitely worth paying attention to as their decisions impact every Michigander.”