Student-athlete wins Equity Champion Award for work with underserved communities

Brittney Tran. Source: De Anza College

Brittney Tran. Source: De Anza College

Faced with a school year stressed by racial unrest and an ongoing pandemic, Brittney Tran won the De Anza College’s student Equity Champion Award by using her platform as president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Council to advance community service.

Tran led the SAAC in equity-focused events. This included an AAPI forum, events in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and a fundraiser that provided over 1,750 meals for people in need due to COVID-19.

“We really wanted a way to turn the energy of not being able to participate in practices into something positive,” said Tran, 21, a biochemistry major and member of the soccer and badminton teams. “We decided to put it into community service.”

Tran not only worked for outside communities, but also aimed to impact the one inside De Anza.

“SAAC became a safe space for student-athletes to support each other and relieve stress,” Tran said. “A lot of athletes leaned on their sport and teams to destress, and that was gone.”

Tran also serves as a mentor in De Anza’s mentorship program.

Her mentee, 18-year-old Tan Nguyen, biochemistry major, said he was unsurprised Tran won the award because she made a great impact on his life in a short time.

“I originally had no hopes for the mentorship program, but when my mental health was deteriorating, Brittney was there for me,” Nguyen said. “I got extremely lucky.”

SAAC co-advisor Louise Madrigal said the next executive group coming in is going to have big shoes to fill.

“Her selflessness and ability to create a safe space for students was a huge plus,” Madrigal said. “We were really lucky to have her.”

Tran credits her executive and commissioner teams largely for her receiving the award.

“I wish they could be a part of this award,” Tran said. “Because they’re just as big of a part in this, if not bigger, as I am.”

A full list of the Equity Champion award winners can be found here.