Teachers shape the hearts and minds of the upcoming generation.”
Brianna Balke is passionate about teaching underprivileged students and has immersed herself in classrooms serving underprivileged and at-risk youth. As an instructional assistant at Grand Junction, CO’s R-5 High School, and a volunteer with STRIVE, a student support group at Grand Junction High School, she has seen apathetic students barely passing their classes transform into students motivated to achieve academic success and attend college.
A magna cum laude graduate of Pomona College and a recipient of a neuroscience fellowship, Brianna believes that a shift in the way the American society regards teachers “will revolutionize our education system.” “When the teaching profession is well-respected, good teachers will be able to commit to a lifetime of teaching. Most importantly, when teachers are respected, students will thrive.”
Brianna’s penchant for taking on challenges goes beyond the classroom. An avid hiker, she has climbed to the top of nearly half of Colorado’s 54 peaks above 14,000 feet. Her other hiking conquests include Mt. Kilimanjaro and the Himalayas on Nepal’s Annapurna Circuit.