Humphries takes on challenge, shatters stereotypes


Brianna Humphries, center, poses with officials of the Northern Marianas Trades Institute after receiving the Tun Donicio Award for Construction Trades in last week’s Denim and Diamonds Gala at the Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan’s Hibiscus Hall. (Jon Perez)

Overcoming a challenge is not something new for Brianna Tudela Humphries. She chose to study construction trades at the Northern Marianas Trades Institute, shattering the stereotype that it’s a man’s world.

She has since learned carpentry, electrical, and masonry at NMTI. Now, she is into welding. She is hoping the skills that she has learned would land her a job either at the Department of Public Works or at Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC.

Humphries has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder—a serious condition that manifests itself in extreme mood swings and causes risky behavior. Yet the love and support of her family and friends—especially her mother and fiancée—has helped her pull through.

“I understand that this [construction trades] is considered a man’s world, but if I didn’t have the support of my mother, fiancée, and my family, it would have been hard for me,” said Humphries, who was presented with NMTI’s Donicio Torres Award for Construction Trades Student Achievement in last week’s Denim and Diamonds Gala at the Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan’s Hibiscus Hall.

“I have disabilities…and without the support that I received, I won’t be where I am today. Today, in our community, if you don’t get that support, you can’t get that far. I won’t be where I am right now without the support of the people around me.”

She credits her mother for inspiring her the most and sacrificing a lot to help her. “Everybody that I’ve met and I know, all of their support and love made me become a stronger person. But my mother has truly inspired me the most.”

She credits her mother with understanding her disability and helping her and the people around them gain an understanding about her condition. “Without her, I won’t be here,” added Humphries.

Construction trades seems to be in her blood after both of her grandfathers—both father and mother side—were a former welder and construction technician, respectively. “I’ve learned a lot from my family—both of their experiences—and the training that I got at NMTI.”

She had just finished NMTI’s welding program and some of the metal art that she created were auctioned in last Friday’s NMTI Denim and Diamonds Gala at the Hibiscus Hall of the Fiesta Resort & Spa. Humphries is now finishing her construction technology course.

Jon Perez | Reporter
Jon Perez began his writing career as a sports reporter in the Philippines where he has covered local and international events. He became a news writer when he joined media network ABS-CBN. He joined the weekly DAWN, University of the East’s student newspaper, while in college.

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