Although Montiel doesn’t see herself as the perfect student, her struggles have made her even more determined to attend college. The Jordan Brand awarded Ánimo Pat Brown Charter High School senior Brianna Montiel the Jordan Brand Wings Scholarship. Montiel is among thirty-four high school students across the United States to join the Jordan Brand Wings 2023 cohort.
Ánimo Pat Brown administrators and College Track leaders were eager to break the good news to Montiel in her precalculus class. Jordan Brand’s Wing works with 30 organizations including College Track, to provide educational opportunities to youth. This partnership includes Ánimo Pat Brown and College Track’s partnership, students begin a ten-year pathway focused on supporting students from ninth grade until college graduation through college prep resources and activities.
Through the Jordan Wings program, Montiel canfocus on her studies as the award will cover her full tuition and living expenses at University of California, Santa Cruz. According to Diana Angulo, the College Access Site Director at College Track, Briana will be backed by the Jordan Brand, including networking opportunities, internships, mentorships, and access to exclusive Jordan gear in addition to financial support.
“The scholarship seems like a towering building, and I’m standing next to it,” said Montiel as she still is unable to shake the disbelief, “I just can't believe I got this scholarship.” Her humility conceals the tremendous work she has put into her student and family life. According to Gutierrez, Montiel’s transition from virtual learning to in-person amid the COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging, but she navigated her obstacles by choosing to attend Ánimo Pat Brown as a freshman and took the initiative to seek college preparation opportunities. She has been an avid participant of the Watt’s City Robotics team, both as a team member and in creating extraordinary projects. She’s taken further steps in advocacy, voicing fellow students' concern and needs, all while interning at Kaiser Permanente and gaining medical experience.
Reflecting on the future, Briana says that her experiences and past made her consider college and pursuing a career in the medical field. Briana's journey is rooted in her mother’s battle with medical conditions, and her desire to help.
“I want to study biology to get on the path to med school and to hopefully become somebody that treats women like my mom, who unfortunately struggle through the unfairness of health care,” said Montiel.
As a first-generation student, she embodies her family’s dreams as she creates a new path in higher education and mirrors her family's resilience with every next step she takes.
To everyone in Montiel’s tight knit support circle she exemplifies diligence and devotion to her family and community. She earned her (Jordan Brand) wings and is now ready to take flight for what comes next, whether it is college, leadership, or life.