Bri Walker

Briana Walker '21

Elementary Education Special Education

Meet Briana Walker, the first recipient of the St. Francis College Class of 1968 Memorial Scholarship

“I’ve been working in the local elementary schools since the first day I started UNE’s elementary education program,” Briana “Bri” Walker '21 explained excitedly. “A lot of the teachers I've worked with are very used to having UNE students in their classrooms. Teachers love getting you (UNE students) involved straight away, and letting you interact with the kids during activities and during academic or workshop time. It’s great to see what teachers are doing and to be a part of the classroom!”

Bri is an Elementary Education major studying on the Biddeford Campus who was recently awarded the St. Francis College Class of 1968 Memorial Scholarship, designated for a deserving student exhibiting financial need.

“I was sitting in my dorm room doing homework one day when I received an email that stated I was being awarded the St. Francis College Class of 1968 Memorial Scholarship. I turned to my roommate and said, ‘I’m confused. I’m not sure what this is about.’ I immediately replied to Student Financial Services saying, ‘This is wonderful, and I would love to accept it, but how was I chosen?’ It was then I learned that the scholarship was made possible by gifts from the St. Francis College class of 1968, and how I was chosen as a recipient.”

Bri was then invited to a reception celebrating the scholarship, and unbeknownst to her its recipient, as part of UNE’s Alumni Weekend 2018. The reception also provided her with the opportunity to meet with many of the members of the class of ’68 that had made gifts to the scholarship. What Bri had not realized until she was present at the reception was how unique this opportunity was. She was originally under the impression that other students had also received this scholarship. "I attended the reception expecting to meet other recipients of the scholarship. Discovering that I was the sole recipient of the scholarship was a wonderful surprise. I'm super happy, thrilled, and grateful to have received this scholarship; it is a huge help as I rely heavily on financial aid to be able to attend UNE and obtain the education I feel that I need and want."

With the help and support of the UNE community, Bri hopes to continue working with the local school systems after she graduates, preferably as a type of general education teacher. She also hopes to obtain a master’s degree in education.

“Thank you for founding the St. Francis College Class of 1968 Memorial Scholarship and for keeping your connection to UNE and St. Francis College alive. Knowing that those who had graduated 50 years ago still feel connected to the university and care about helping current students is incredible. Being able to make this scholarship available to students you have yet to meet is a wonderful gift , and I cannot thank the class of ’68 enough for making a positive difference in my life and the lives of future UNE students.”

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