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Brooklyn Biel, a junior communication major with an emphasis in broadcast journalism at Eastern New Mexico University, says she has been lucky to get so much hands-on experience at ENMU.

"When I get to the professional world, I will already know what it feels like to be on camera and I will be comfortable enough to do my job," she said. "All in all, the experience that we gain at ENMU sets us apart from other people."

A native of Phoenix, Arizona, Brooklyn came to ENMU to play volleyball.

"I am from a big city, so I love how nice everyone is here," said Brooklyn, who expects to graduate in the fall of 2018. "For example, when I go to the gas station the cashier remembers my face and will ask me how my day is going. In Phoenix, we don't run into such kind people."

The 2014 graduate of Betty H. Fairfax High School says the "experience I have received here is something that cannot be matched."

She has made the Dean's List all six semesters and in 2017 was named ENMU's Sports Reporter of the Year for the campus PBS station.

Born in Bakersfield, California, to Michelle and Phillip Biel, Brooklyn says her mom left when she was 10 and "my dad raised my little sister, Aniston, and I by himself, and my older brother stayed in Bakersfield with my grandparents. Right after my mom left, my dad and my sister and I moved to Phoenix. When I was 15, our family was blessed with Hayden Biel and then two years later we were blessed with Grason Biel."

Brooklyn, whose hobbies include volleyball and taking her dog, Rocky, on walks, wants to be a sideline reporter for the NFL.

She also wants "to be an amazing mother and to give my money to people who are in greater need."

She says without her little siblings, she wouldn't be the person she is.

"My life may not have been ideal, being around drugs and alcohol, but my family never let me use that as an excuse to not be successful" Brooklyn said. "I am not a victim and I never want people to feel sorry for me, but what I do want is never to see another child go through what I did."