For the first eighteen years of Brandon’s life, he suffered from uncontrolled epilepsy. Active seizures often interrupted his education and limited his plans for the future. In 2008, Brandon had a successful brain surgery that left him seizure-free and opened up a world of new possibilities.
“This result forever changed my life. It opened the doors for me to do what was never possible before. From that point, I knew I would spend the rest of my life preparing for and pursuing a career in medicine.”
Brandon no longer had a medical condition holding him back. He started college at UW-Parkside, but it wasn’t easy as he had a family to support and bills to pay in addition to tuition payments.
“Due to financial need, I have worked two jobs 60-80 hours a week for a private ambulance company and in the emergency room of underserved Milwaukee communities for a large portion of my undergraduate career. My GPA was the collateral damage of committing nearly 30,000 hours serving others while trying to do well in college at the same time. The only thing I could change to improve my grades was decrease the number of classes I took each semester because I could not afford to work less and decrease my income. I struggled because my only option was to work full time and I didn’t want to put school on the back burner.”
Brandon’s undergraduate career has taken longer than most students due to his work and family obligations. Instead of continuing on that slow path, the Future Focus Fund transformed his academic career. Last year, Brandon had the aid he needed to take additional classes and move closer to his degree. When his wife was furloughed from her job this spring due to the coronavirus pandemic, additional Future Focus support ensured that he didn’t have to slow down again.
“When I had more time to focus on my academics, I thrived. My GPA has improved dramatically; with my most recent Spring 2020 term being a 3.84 in the middle of the pandemic. The Future Focus Fund allowed me to show my true potential and dedication academically in the classroom. Scholarships allow me to focus on becoming the best I can be for others while eliminating the stress and distraction of trying to pay for tuition on my own.”
Brandon feels called to help others and is currently fighting the Coronavirus pandemic on the front lines as an ER tech at a Hospital in Milwaukee while completing his final year of school. With the financial help he received from UW-Parkside donors, Brandon will graduate this coming May and is currently in the middle of medical school applications. Like so many of our students, Brandon is making a difference in his community while earning his degree.
Learn more about how you can help students like Brandon.