Commencement Speaker Brianna DeJesus Encourages Personal Growth

FORT WORTH, Texas — When it came to choosing a school, Brianna DeJesus selected Tarrant County College because it had everything she wanted —affordability, proximity and a “more intimate atmosphere” than her previous university.

“Jumping straight into a large university can be daunting,” she said. “I knew TCC would provide me with a safe place for a fresh start.”

“Brianna had it rough at her first university. “Life was terrific until it was not.” While there, she developed test anxiety. Once at TCC, this caused her to bomb her first physics exam. She later discovered pages of notes she didn’t remember taking.

As a result, she changed her study and self-care habits. She learned to communicate with her professors and tap into campus counseling. Now if something arises in her life that she’s not proud of, she takes steps to change it, even if the steps are uncomfortable or the results unclear.

And those steps are paying off. Brianna will give the keynote address at the TCC Connect, TCC Southeast and TCC Trinity River commencement ceremony at 6 p.m. May 16 in Dickies Arena. She is graduating with an Associate of Science.

Brianna found she could embrace the college experience at TCC. She became a supplemental instruction leader for the TCC Learning Commons, and she joined the Math Club to surround herself with people who love numbers.

She became president of Mu Alpha Theta, the National High School and Two-Year College Mathematics Honor Society. She was recognized as a top scorer in the Jim Bolen Mathematics Competition.

Math Assistant Professor Nena Kabranski calls Brianna an exceptional student-scholar with a keen intellect and remarkable character and leadership skills. “She’s more than an ideal student. She is a committed learner.”

To gain research experience, Brianna applied to the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Summer Research Academy. She will be assigned a mentor and allowed to conduct research at the University of Texas at Arlington, where she plans to continue her studies this fall, majoring in physics.

She also has been accepted into the UTA Honors College and wants to take full advantage of the opportunities that will bring.

As for her career plans, Brianna’s professional interests involve neutrinos, black holes and exoplanets. She hopes to one day parlay her knowledge in these areas into becoming a mixture of renowned physicists Niel deGrasse Tyson, Richard Feynman and Stephen Hawking.

“I want to share my passion for physics and science on a grand scale,” she said.

The fact that she even has anything to share began with Brianna’s academic rebirth at Tarrant County College.

“TCC offers a nurturing environment for growth and self-discovery. So, join clubs, make friends, apply for that scholarship and take part in that competition,” she advised. “It doesn’t matter if you think you’re not good enough. Do not deny yourself the chance to prove that you are — because you are!”

Associate of Science (A.S.) for Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) – Tarrant County College (

Biology – Tarrant County College (

Mathematics – Tarrant County College (

Pathway: STEM

Degree: Associate of Science

Campus: All Campuses

Tarrant County College is one of the nation’s largest higher education institutions and boasts the second-lowest tuition of Texas’ Top 10 community colleges. A comprehensive two-year college with six campuses in Tarrant County and online classes, TCC offers a range of opportunities for learners of all ages and backgrounds, including Associate of Arts and Associate of Applied Science degrees; workforce and economic development programs; technical and skilled trades programs; and customized training for area businesses and corporations.