Student Profile: Briana Mora ’16

'Grads told me about the fantastic alumni network, the welcoming community, and how prepared they felt for their futures'

August 18th, 2014 by 

NAME Briana Mora ’16

HOMETOWN Los Angeles

ACADEMICS Anthropology and philosophy double major with a concentration in Latino Studies

GETTING TO KNOW HOLY CROSS Briana first heard about Holy Cross from her high school guidance counselor at La Salle High School in Pasadena. “I wanted to go to an East Coast, liberal arts college that would prepare me for law school or anything else I wanted to do.” But living 3,000 miles away from Holy Cross, she wasn’t able to visit campus.  Luckily, the College came to her.  She attended a Holy Cross event in Los Angeles, where she met Rev. Philip L. Boroughs, president of the College, current students, and alumni.  “Over and over, Holy Cross grads told me about the fantastic alumni network, the friendly and welcoming community at Holy Cross, and how prepared they felt for their futures. I left that event knowing I wanted to go to Holy Cross.”

ARRIVING ON CAMPUS “Being a first generation, Mexican-American student, I had no idea what to expect when I got to the Hill.” Briana opted to participate in the Odyssey Program, arriving in Worcester a week before the official move-in day.  Odyssey offers international and ALANA (African-American, Latin American, Asian-American, and Native American) student’s workshops, field trips, discussions, and social programs to get to know the campus, Worcester, and New England. “I got to meet other students from diverse backgrounds and the program helped me get a feel for college life before classes actually started. I learned where everything was before the rest of my classmates arrived, and met some of my best friends.”

TAKING THE LEAD Briana is a co-founder of the Holy Cross chapter of MEChA, the national Mexican-American student organization that promotes higher education, culture, and history.  As an executive board member, she is in charge of making sure Holy Cross is represented at MEChA’s national youth symposiums. “My friends and I wanted to present the social issues of our culture, share them with the campus, and make a change. The College—and especially the chaplains’ office—was extremely supportive of the idea. We know first –hand that language is a huge barrier to family involvement in the college process. This year we plan to implement a mentoring program for both students and parents, and a college hotline run by MEChA members. Because the majority of us are bilingual in Spanish and English, and have succeeded in applying and getting into college, sharing our knowledge is the best thing we can offer to immigrant families and first generation students.”

AT HOLY CROSS AND BEYOND A member of the Moot Court team, Briana represented Holy Cross at the South Atlantic Regional Tournament, a highly competitive national event at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Fla., where the team qualified for the national tournament. She is an editor of the College’s law journal, an admissions tour guide and has a radio show on the student-run station WCHC.  “I play a lot of indie rock and local L.A. indie bands.”  During the summer, she worked in the Los Angeles district attorney’s office. “From the philosophy professors expanding my ability to think and problem solve in new ways to the anthropology department opening my eyes to different cultures, being involved in so many activities on campus has given me the opportunity to find my passions and act on them.”

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