Briana Beaudoin wants to be a positive force for children.
"I had a hard childhood, and one thing that my life taught me was that we need more caring, competent social workers in the world," she says. "I hope to enhance the lives of the clients I encounter, and I love children, so I believe that I can be a positive force for children in need."
The Eastern New Mexico University social work major has short-term plans to be a child welfare social worker, but hopes that she can pair children with good families as an agent for an adoption center one day.
"I want to make a difference in the lives of my clients throughout my career," Briana explains. "I want to be the kind of social worker that someone remembers as the person who changed their lives in a positive way."
Briana chose to attend ENMU because of financial aid access and the proximity to her hometown, Roswell, New Mexico. "I am from a very low-income family, and it has been very hard for me to navigate college life because of that, but the resources I've had at Eastern have made it all possible," she shares.
"I loved the community and support that I felt on the ENMU campus and felt that the staff and faculty here would guide me through my college journey in the way I needed as a first-generation college student," Briana explains. "They certainly have."
Diana Cordova, director of Multicultural Affairs, has been important to Briana during her time at Eastern. "Her commitment to helping her students adjust to college life was instrumental in inspiring me to stay at ENMU, even when I missed my family and wanted to go home," she says.
Briana also states that all of her social work professors have guided and supported her in all her decisions: "They have made me a stronger student."
Are you an incoming social work major? Briana has valuable advice for you: study and read as much as you can. "It's important to know that this area of work can be very mentally and physically draining if you are not prepared," she warns. "However, it is an amazing area of study, and there is nothing quite like being able to help those in need."
Briana, who expects to graduate in the spring of 2020, is a Chi Omega alumna. Her decision to request alumna status was driven through having a child, Georgia, with her husband, a student majoring in early childhood education. She's also participated in a plethora of events around campus, including Eastern in Action in her freshman and sophomore year, as well as participating in Dawg Days as a counselor in her sophomore year.
As a freshman, Briana participated in Up Til Dawn, an all-night fundraiser for St. Jude's Children Research Hospital that was previously held at ENMU. She worked in the office of the chief information officer for two years until her child was born, then took a step back from extracurricular activities to focus on her newborn and schoolwork.
"I'm planning on getting involved again as the president of the Phi Alpha Social Work Honor Society at Eastern this semester," Briana adds. She is also starting an internship at CYFD, also known as a "field placement."
Briana has made the Dean's List every semester since she arrived at Eastern. She received the Green and Silver Presidential Scholarship, which spans four years of school, and the Title IV-E Stipend, which is "given to social work students in the child welfare sector to enable them to complete a field placement at CYFD."
Briana's favorite class so far is "Storytelling at the Crossroads," an English/anthropology class about Latin American literature. "Books are one of my passions, and I loved studying works that examined other cultures."
Her favorite part about being a Greyhound has been the extracurricular activities available on the main campus. Briana loves "Greek Life, the opportunities to participate in campus-led activities that better the community and the fact that it has all made me a much better, more focused student."
Briana enjoys reading, writing and planning. She wrote opinion columns for the Roswell's newspaper, "The Roswell Daily Record," when she was in high school until December of 2018. "I also published several actual news articles with them, so they have published one of my hobbies a few times."
You might see Briana at the Golden Student Success Center in her off-hours. "It is a great place to go and study, meet up with friends and relax between all of my classes and my work schedule," she says.
The Roswell born-and-raised native has four brothers and one sister. Her mother passed away when she was in high school. Her father is a cook at Roswell's Applebee's but is now looking to earn a degree. Briana is the first person in her nuclear family to go to college. She lives with her husband and their daughter.