Hart HS alumna speaks at MSU grad ceremony.

May 23, 2018

Photo courtesy of Teriah Nicole Artistry.

Hart HS alumna speaks at MSU grad ceremony.


By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

HART — Breanna Escamilla has achieved many accomplishments at the young age of 22, and speaking before thousands of students, faculty and family members at the College of Social Science Commencement ceremony at Michigan State University is one of those of achievements.

– Contributed photo

Breanna, who will attend graduate school in the fall at the University of Illinois to obtain a PhD, was chosen as the commencement speaker after an intense application process.

She was one of four finalists who applied and went through a round of interviews to secure the prestigious position.

Speaking before 1,400 students and thousands of parents and family members, the 2014 Hart High School graduate sent a “powerful message as a Latina woman.”

Among the audience members were proud parents, Olga and Benny Escamilla, Jr. Breanna credits much of her success to her parents who instilled a strong work ethic in her.

Breanna also believes that her education at Hart Public Schools prepared her for college through the availability of advanced placement courses. She was able to begin her studies at MSU with 12 college credits that she obtained while in high school.

Photo courtesy of Teriah Nicole Artistry.

“It’s a small community with small class sizes,” she said. “The teachers know the students. I felt like I was really prepared.” Hart offers “strong teachers” coupled with a “strong curriculum.”

“I like the intimacy of the community,” she said of Hart.

Moving to MSU’s large campus as a college freshman was an eye-opening experience for Breanna. “I had to adapt to the larger population.”

Moving to Hart from Texas as a migrant family, the Escamillas have broken barriers with three college graduates so far of their six children. Breanna’s two older siblings, Bianca and Benny III, have graduated from MSU and Central Michigan University, respectively. There are three more children in the family, and they have successful role models in their older siblings to follow suit.

Breanna and her older and sister and brother are first-generation college graduates in their family.

She has a bachelor of arts degree in anthropology with minors in African American and African studies and Chicano/Latino studies. Her GPA in her major is 4.00. The scholar has received numerous awards and scholarships along the way.

The first college course that she took on MSU’s campus was anthropology, and it was her inspiration. She was fascinated by the concept of how humans adapt their behaviors to their environment. She was also inspired by her professor, who was “a woman of color.”

“Being a woman of color, that impressed me,” she said.

Her goal is to be a professor at a major research university.

“I like learning,” she said. Her drive to succeed comes from a desire to inspire younger Latinas and Latinos. When she was a young girl, she didn’t have that kind of academic role model. “I never knew someone who looked like me who went to college.” She now is focused on “empowering others.”

The work ethic she gained from her parents and growing up in a migrant family has brought her to where she is today.

“A lot of people don’t want to put in the work,” she said. “It’s not always pretty, and it’s not always the easiest thing to do.”

It’s her thirst for learning, coupled with that strong work ethic, that have made her such a strong Latina woman. “Education is a powerful tool. Failure has never been an option.”

This story is copyrighted © 2018, all rights reserved by Media Group 31, LLC, PO Box 21, Scottville, MI 49454. No portion of this story or images may be reproduced in any way, including print or broadcast, without expressed written consent.



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