Brianna, also known as Bri, hails from Deep East Oakland, California. Currently, they are a first-year, first-generation student at UC Merced, majoring in psychology and minoring in Community Research and Service. Deeply passionate about social justice, Bri has always been active in their community, drawing strength from the support they received growing up. In 7th grade, Bri was clinically diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety, conditions that doctors said would impact them for life. This led to countless therapy sessions, medications, ER visits, and hospitalizations from middle school through their junior year of high school. Raised in a traditional Hispanic household where mental health issues were often dismissed, Bri struggled with panic attacks, anger outbursts, and persistent negative thoughts, feeling isolated and misunderstood.

Despite these challenges, Bri embarked on a journey of self-evaluation and healing, understanding that everyone heals at their own pace. They are still working on their mental health but have learned the importance of giving themselves space to feel and process emotions. Inspired by their experiences, Bri chose to major in psychology and minor in community research and services to explore the complexities of the human mind and help others heal. After graduating, Bri plans to start a nonprofit to support individuals with mental health issues, address community concerns, and provide a platform for people to share their stories. Through this work, Bri aims to be a source of support and understanding for others facing similar struggles.