Even though Brianna Tucker just completed her first year in May 2020 at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, she already knows she will run for Congress.
Anyone tempted to dismiss this aspiration of an 18-year-old would do well to note: Tucker was invited by the governor’s office to interview for the student position on the UW Board of Regents, the governing body of the UW System.
Two days after her interview she learned Gov. Tony Evers was appointing her to the Regents. The two-year term began May 1. “It’s been exciting and overwhelming in the best way possible,” she said. “I’m really grateful for the opportunity that landed in my lap.”
Tucker, Milwaukee, is majoring in political science and Spanish.
“They were looking for someone who is passionate about the UW System. I love the UW schools, every campus is so beautiful. They wanted someone dedicated, passionate. The job is not political, but it probably helps that I’m going into the political world. I bring diversity and a broader perspective.”
Asked what she would like to change, Tucker said she will advocate for financial aid for students of color. “It’s hard to pay for college if you don’t come from a wealthy family,” she said. Higher education is an opportunity to break what she calls a cycle of oppression, which can last for generations, especially among Black and brown people. “If they’re not worried about money, students can focus on their studies and building connections with people and resources on campus.”
“If I could do one thing, it would be fund scholarships, said Tucker, who received a Mexican Fiesta scholarship and an insurance settlement after an accident that helps cover her college costs.
Tucker is only the second student Regent from UW-Stevens Point. Beth Richlen served as student Regent from May 2003 to May 2005. She graduated from UW-Stevens Point in May 2003, then attended UW Law School in Madison.
Tucker applied for admission to several universities in Wisconsin. She knew little about UW-Stevens Point, but visited it during a ViewPoint Day in high school. She met Admissions counselor Scott West, who invited her to participate in a multicultural leadership camp, which was “my greatest experience.” She accepted UW-Stevens Point the day she returned home.
“MCLC gave me a ridiculous amount of resources and connections. I felt as though I knew a little about everything,” Tucker said, which helped her smoothly transition to campus life and quickly get involved.
“I knew exactly what I wanted to study, and UW-Stevens Point fostered it,” she said. “I like my workload, my professors, my classes.” She’s in UW-Stevens Point’s Honors program and likes the added challenge of rigorous courses.
She was elected as a senator to the Student Government Association and joined the Latino Student Alliance, UWSP College Democrats and UWSP Cheer Team. “I got involved by putting myself out there and doing things that I wasn’t sure about. For example, I joined cheer even though I’ve never done it before. But I did it, and it was surprisingly fun.
This summer, she’s working as a peer mentor for the Office of Admissions.
“I’m already making the most of Stevens Point. I love it here, it’s so beautiful, people are so nice, the staff at this campus are some of the best and most genuine people I’ve ever met. It makes me think, I couldn’t have gotten any better. “
Tucker sets high expectations. “I’m super-organized, I like to plan. I like feeling successful and accomplished.”
The second oldest of five children, she knows her siblings look to her as a role model. “I hold myself to a high standard for everything. If anything, hard work will always pays off.”