The summer entering Brandon’s junior year he had an opportunity to spend the day with the Mayor of Santa Cruz at the time, Ms. Hillary Bryant. She took him to her office and showed him around, then they enjoyed a nice lunch together. Brandon, being his naturally curious and caring self asked her some questions about her family, she opened up to him and they became acquainted.  When they returned from their lunch she mentioned to me that she knew there was more good work to come from Brandon, and wanted to see how she could help.  I told her we were just appreciative of her meeting with him! He wrote her a handwritten thank you note immediately and Summer began.  

Two months later, Ms. Bryant wrote him a note to check in and see how his school year was going.  She asked if he would like to serve as a member of the Youth City Council for Santa Cruz.  Brandon accepted, and was sworn in that September..  The meeting was televised and Brandon was very proud.  The group met weekly on Wednesdays. He learned how his local government works, was a member of a team working for a common goal, and began to emerge into his next level of leadership.  

Ms. Hillary Bryant gave Brandon his first big chance. Prior to this, Brandon was being denied a leadership role at his school.  It’s funny how one person can see beyond the exterior, and another can’t.  Brandon proudly served on the Youth City Council in 2013-2014 and remains friends with Ms. Bryant. 


“Some see DISABILITY, while others see ABILITY,”  Deby Hergenrader  has quoted.  What do you see?