Not too long ago, Brianna Bighorse was a troubled kid with a reputation for fighting. Today, she’s a top Marine recruit teaching others that effort leads to a big return.
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In October 2017, Power of Sports told the story of Brianna Bighorse, a troubled kid with a bad temper who found her escape on a softball field built by Fields & Futures.
Thanks to a coach who demands good behavior from her athletes, Brianna turned her life around.
Brianna the fighter became Brianna homecoming queen. The girl with a three-page rap sheet finished high school with a 3.9 GPA.
Once you have the mindset of I CAN instead of I CAN’T, you can go a long ways.
But the real test for many kids like Brianna comes after high school.
What happens when they lose the structure provided by athletics? What happens when a coach’s daily guidance is no longer there? Or when there aren’t any teammates to lean on?
In Brianna’s case, the evolution of her character did not fade away with high school.
On September 21, 2018, Brianna Bighorse graduated from Marine Corps Recruit Training. There, she received the Molly Marine Award and was recognized as the honor graduate of her platoon.
On October 1, 2018, PFC Bighorse returned to Northwest Classen High for an assembly held in her honor.
Seated on stage next to her high school coach, Brianna talked about her journey and how sports had impacted it.
She discussed the challenges she had faced and how she had overcome them.
She told a room full of students and future marines that effort creates opportunities. And that every day is an opportunity to achieve something greater.
USMC SSgt Jessica Jones provided the following statement as a testament to the greatness in store for PFC Brianna Bighorse:
After being transformed by the nation’s toughest boot camp of the Armed Services, hundreds of new U.S. Marines graduated from Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina on September 21, 2018.
Marine Corps Recruit Training is a 13-week boot camp where recruits are constantly under pressure and face physical and mental challenges on a daily basis. Going through Marine Corps Boot Camp is more than a transformation. This training is required to defend our nation and each other, and gain more than the ability to withstand adversity.
The USMC proudly recognizes Brianna Bighorse as the honor graduate for Platoon 4036 Oscar Company, 4th Recruit Training Battalion. During 13 weeks of boot camp, she stood out amongst her peers by showing exceptional leadership skills, being a team player, and obtaining the highest combat fitness test and marksmanship score, making her an expert shooter.
Based on her personality and ability to work well with others, she was also the chosen by her peers as the recipient of the Molly Marine Award. This prestigious award is given to the recruit that best demonstrates the qualities of an exemplary Marine.