Brieland Fripp, University of Nebraska at Omaha
Brieland Fripp is a highly motivated sophomore student leader at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Brie’s service and leadership are focused on the goal of addressing the needs of youth and families in high poverty areas of Omaha. She spends countless hours volunteering for Whispering Roots, a local nonprofit that seeks to grow healthy food and alleviate hunger in underserved populations while teaching STEM principles in local schools and afterschool programs. Brie conceptualized, planned, organized, and executed a multifaceted pancake feed fundraiser for a local food pantry to raise money for an aquaponics system that will provide fresh produce and fish to those served by the pantry, and will be maintained by clients. She motivated her class and a middle school class to collaborate and carryout all aspects of planning and implementation. But addressing the nutritional needs of underserved populations is only a start for Brie. She is also involved in implementation of an Arts program in the same underserved communities being served by aquaponics urban garden projects she works with. It isn’t enough to fill a pressing need, but rather, her interest is in generating hope through mentoring and providing positive outlets for the creativity of underserved youth.
-John Christensen, Chancellor
As a sophomore at UNO, I have come to realize that hunger is a major problem facing the Omaha community. Seeing so many people suffer so close to home has truly inspired me to make a difference and solve this devastating issue. I am involved with local food banks and nonprofits, such as Whispering Roots working diligently to help educate people on how to grow healthy, sustainable food through the use of aquaponics. I also serve as a positive role model for the students trapped in the vicious cycle of poverty. My eyes are open to the daily struggles faced by members of our society living in poverty. This experience has helped me find my true passion of helping others find ways to sustain themselves. Understanding the importance of the Arts in the lives of children and adults, I am collaborating with Whispering Roots and other local organizations to introduce a dance program into Omaha middle schools. No child should be excluded from fun, engaging educational activities due to their economic status. It is my goal to make a difference in my community so that future generations can live in a hunger and poverty free, engaging world.