By Dan DiPrinzio
Every time someone told Anne Brokenborough ’11 that she couldn’t afford Cabrini, that she shouldn’t become a teacher because it wouldn’t pay enough, or that she wouldn’t want to return to the inner city to teach, it only strengthened her resolve to accomplish all three goals.
“It does motivate you,” the early childhood and elementary special education major says. “It makes me think, ‘I’m going to prove you wrong.’”
The path that led Anne to Cabrini was winding, beginning long before she was born. Anne’s mother came to the mainland from Puerto Rico as a child, and Anne’s father has family in Pennsylvania, Virginia and the Philippines. Anne grew up the youngest of nine children first in West and then in Southwest Philadelphia, and graduated in the top 10 percent of her class at Parkway West High School.
Perhaps the most challenging aspect of enrolling in Cabrini for Anne was finding it. Anne wasn’t even aware of the college until she accompanied a high school friend on a visit to campus.
“I went from not knowing about Cabrini to it being my number one choice,” she says of that initial visit.
As a first-year student in 2007, Anne was a member of the College’s Voices of Justice Living and Learning Community (LLC). She credits the LLC with “making the transition from high school easier,” and found the group’s activities, such as an immersion trip to Washington, D.C., to be insightful. Her professors laud her dedication and work ethic, and are quick to point out how much she contributes to Cabrini in and out of the classroom.
“Anneis an innovative thinker, a creative collaborator, and a leader on campus—the kind of young woman who leads by example,” said Dr. Nancy Watterson, assistant professor of social justice and American studies.
As a Pierce Scholar, Anne worked in Cabrini’s Youth Empowerment Program with Norristown high school students in a writing and cultural arts program, and tutors students at Olney High School in Philadelphia. Last year, she accompanied Drs. Watterson, Darryl Mace, Nicholas Rademacher, and fellow student Melissa Moore ’12 to an Interfaith Youth Core conference (IFYC) in Chicago, where she was awarded an IFYC youth leaders scholarship.
This year, Anne received the Andrew and Patricia Litavec Education Scholarship. And when she finds spare time, she crochets, creating hats, scarves, blankets, and vests for family and friends.
Anne credits all the teachers in her life—those who told her what she couldn’t do, and those who encouraged her to accomplish her goals—for her decision to major in education. After graduation, she plans to teach in the Philadelphia School District, in “the school that is in the direst need,” she said.
“To be able to give children a quality education, even if they don’t have the best resources, would be the best thing I can do,” she says.
Just try to stop her.