Student Brianna HortonThe Marian University community doesn’t just recognize the name Brianna Horton – they recognize her.

While she’s run an offense for four years as a point guard for the Sabres women’s basketball team – being named a 2018 Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar and making the Scholar Athlete and Dean’s List every semester – the senior has also led countless university efforts to help those in need.

The Racine Horlick High School graduate was raised to appreciate social justice and charity, and by entering the Social Work program she’s well on her way to achieving her dream of making a career out of assisting those who need it.

“I’ve appreciated my education because it’s helped me get out of my comfort zone and led to so many volunteering opportunities, helping people and hearing their stories,” she said. “It’s been amazing to actually do things that help others, instead of just sitting in a classroom or reading a book.”

There was a time when Brianna became concerned she wouldn’t be able to receive this education at all. Early on at Marian she was placed on a financial hold and unable to register for classes. The Wisconsin Grant, though, changed all that.

“The Wisconsin Grant helped get me over that hump, it helped pave the way for me to be able to register for classes,” she said. “Without it I would have run into a lot of road blocks – it definitely helped me get to where I’m at today.”

And where she’s at today includes being a staple at countless organizations around Fond du Lac, helping out by:

  • Answering phones for the St. Vincent de Paul Call Center
  • Helping the Salvation Army’s Warming Shelter
  • Interning at ASTOP Sexual Abuse Center
  • Making and serving soup at The Souper Bowl, an annual Marian-hosted human trafficking awareness event
  • Packaging health kits for The United Way
  • Serving food at The Salvation Army
  • Speaking out again sexual assault at conferences, jails, and schools
  • Volunteering at The Arc Fond du Lac, an organization that empowers those with intellectual and developmental disabilities to become independent

Planning to enter graduate school next year, earning her Master’s in Social Work will take her one step closer to helping children and families as a medical social worker.

“I’ve seen the impact people in this position can have,” said Briana, who was first exposed to the career when her grandfather was in the hospital. “Seeing the difference they can make, how they can make so many people feel comforted, and I want to be that person for someone.”

And while Marian will undoubtedly miss being able to witness her selflessness firsthand, the community is taking comfort in knowing she is moving on to helping even more people.