When searching for colleges, Berenice Topete-Andrade wanted to come to Briar Cliff for the acclaimed nursing program but her financial situation at the time didn’t allow for it. So when she was offered a scholarship to Briar Cliff, she couldn’t refuse.
A first-generation college student, Berenice feels supported by the Briar Cliff community. Her confidence in herself has grown immensely and feels she can do anything she sets her mind to.
“I was scared to go to college and had no one to reach out to for advice. All the staff, professors, and students at BCU helped with my transition and really made me feel safe.”
Being a full-time nursing student, mother, housewife, and working part-time stress was something Berenice was familiar with. She recalls the times she didn’t have a baby sitter, so the nursing professors would allow her to take her daughter to class with her.
“All of my nursing professors were there to support me. They were very understanding of my situation and found ways to work with me so I wouldn’t fall behind. I am so grateful for them and everything they do.”
One of her favorite memories at Briar Cliff was during her sophomore year when the Spanish Club participated in a parade for Mexico’s Independence Day in South Sioux City. As vice president, Berenice was able to represent BCU and show off its diversity and community involvement.
Her advice to incoming Chargers is to never be scared to try something new, ask questions, and get involved.
“There is always someone looking over your shoulder and someone you can reach out to in times of need at Briar Cliff. You build new relationships and have the opportunity to learn a lot of new things.”