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Making Us Proud: Class of 2021 Salutatorian Veen Briefki

by David Engle | Jun 24, 2021 | 3 min read

In only three years with Bridgeway Academy, Veen Briefki has certainly put her stamp on our community–and we couldn’t be more proud! A first-generation American in her Kurdish family, Veen joined Bridgeway for her last three years of high school after attending public school through ninth grade. While she was only with us for a few years, Veen not only excelled in her studies to the point that she was selected as the Class of 2021 salutatorian, but she came to realize her true passion while studying with Bridgeway.

Along the way, as she was excelling in her academics with Bridgeway, Veen became fascinated with the human mind and “all its curious behaviors,” as she so aptly put it. Veen will bring that fascination and passion with her to Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee this fall, where she plans to major in Psychology on a Pre-Med track. Her goal is to one day use her research in the field to develop effective treatments that help those who suffer from mental disorders–part of her larger mission of spreading mental health awareness.

Veen certainly possesses the drive to accomplish all of her goals, and she is confident that being honored as the Class of 2021 salutatorian is the fuel that will push her to maintain that work ethic going forward.

“I believe the one academic achievement that is most significant to me is becoming the salutatorian of my class,” explained Veen. “It fills me with great joy to know that all of the effort I put into my studies has made an impact. It is such an honor, and this particular achievement will serve as motivation in the future.”

Outside of school, Veen’s interests and passions are widespread. Her main focus is art, and she earned a first-place award in the National Beta Club convention for the state of Tennessee in 2016. She considers her charcoal and pencil drawing of actor Tom Cruise to be one of her best works yet.

In addition to art, Veen is actually pretty awesome when it comes to martial arts. She considers this to be her next-greatest passion and has the chops to prove it. Veen is a black belt in Taekwondo, and she’s also earned an orange belt in Krav Maga. Veen isn’t done yet, however–she plans to take up Aikido starting this summer!

As Veen prepares to head to Belmont this fall, she took the time to recognize her academic advisor, Betsy Joy Wilcox, for everything she’s done for Veen over the past three years–all of which helped her earn the prestigious salutatorian honor for the Class of 2021.

“Betsy Joy has always been there for me and was so kind, understanding, and patient with me when I first started homeschooling,” said Veen. “She encouraged me to push my limits and take on dual enrollment courses because she firmly believed I was capable of more.

“It was because of her that I was able to become salutatorian,” Veen continued. “I feel she is sort of like an older sister to me, and I am so grateful for her guidance throughout my years at Bridgeway Academy. The best advisor ever, hands down!”

It’s safe to say that Veen has made Betsy Joy proud through not only her hard work and academic accomplishments with Bridgeway, but with her talent and passion to pursue her dreams.

Veen has certainly made her Bridgeway family quite proud. Congratulations, Veen, on earning the salutatorian honor for the Class of 2021–it was well deserved, as will all the future success you have coming your way in college and life!

And, once again, congratulations to all of our Class of 2021 graduates. Even though you’ll be leaving us, we know that you will keep on making Bridgeway proud!

David Engle
Hello, and thanks for reading! I’m David Engle--dad, husband, sports fan, and writer/editor. As a father for the last 18 years (father of two for the last 14), I consider myself to be pretty well-versed in all things related to education, childhood, and parenting, and I'm thankful for the opportunity to share some insights and knowledge with fellow parents. I have been a professional writer and editor for a quarter of a century (it pains me to admit that) and have been writing in the educational space for a number of those years. I reside in southern New Jersey with my wife, two kids, two dogs, and three cats. Never a dull moment.
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