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UW-Madison alum Brien helps students turn concern into action

January 29, 2017

A project led by UW-Madison alumna and Madison East High School teacher Kate Brien to show support for undocumented students is garnering local media coverage.

Following the November elections, Brien and her students decided to design and sell T-shirts to show unity, celebrate diversity and push back against intolerance.

WMTV reportOn Monday, Jan. 23, Madison's local NBC affiliate -- WMTV/Ch. 15 -- reported how the students and staff were wearing those shirts and standing together as a symbol of unity. Brien and her students have sold more than 2,000 T-shirts, surpassing their original goal of just 200 shirts.

WMTV reports that, so far, $20,000 has been raised for scholarships for undocumented students at Madison East High School.

"You know what it feels like when someone says, ‘Yes, I do hear you,’ and, ‘Yes, I do support you,’ and ‘Yes, I know you and I know what you're feeling and I know your struggle because we all struggle,’ ” said Brien, who teaches sophomores and is a coordinator in the college readiness AVID/TOPS program.

Brien earned an undergraduate degree from the School of Education in 1996 and a master's from the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in 2001.

WMTV also reports how “people from across the state have been posting pictures on the Madison East High School page with the hashtag, #weareseeds.” 

To watch the WMTV report, visit this web page.