Born and raised in South Bronx, New York, Brianna-Christine Alicea is the middle child of three to a Puerto Rican father and a multiethnic mother. Raised in a strict yet supportive home, Brianna was expected to complete her education and advance to college. Constantly encouraged to do her best, Brianna learned to work under pressure, tackle many responsibilities and overcome her obstacles in her high school years. She applied to colleges and received many responses back, after a rejection from LaGuardia Community College, she accepted going to CUNY York College. She became the very first-generation college student on her mother’s side. Brianna made the life-changing decision to transfer to Medgar Evers College due to her major. Almost derailed by her deteriorating mental health, Brianna struggled but overcame her situation to continue her education. She decided she would be a positive influence on her younger brother who would enroll in college as well. She never regretted her decision because of the Black excellence and the empowerment the college exposes its students to. It all caved in on itself before the New Year, of her Senior Year when her grandfather passed away from a heart attack. It was the most devastating time in Brianna’s life, but Brianna and her “blood is thicker than water” family pulled together, while Brianna and her mother were the pillars of strength everyone supported one another, and half a year later Brianna stood on the graduation stage to give her Salutatorian speech and then receive her high school diploma. Currently, an undergraduate at Medgar Evers College, Brianna surpassed the expectations her family, friends, and self has set and worked for an even brighter future.
She has made Dean’s List and President’s List in her Junior year and is continuing to earn high grades. She has volunteered at organizations to develop and nurture Bronx youth artistic abilities, she has also volunteered at gardens to help transform communities. In her free time, she loves to write poetry. She envisions one day expanding her repertoire to become a full-fledged writer. Brianna wants to give a voice to controversial issues and give readers inspiration, especially more diverse communities.
Brianna is a caring and supportive sibling to her brother and sister and a dedicated goddaughter and niece to her aunt and uncle. She strives on her family and extends her home to those that come from a different experience. Brianna’s mother taught her and continues to teach her to “always open your door to those that may not have,” and Brianna eagerly looks to uphold this ideal every day. She sees the opportunities in life and is determined to obtain them for success. While enduring this process, she wants to help as many young people reach their potential as they can, so they can be prepared for leadership.