Branden first entered the foster care system at the age of 5 while living in Ohio. He was in the system for about 18 months before being placed again with biological family. At the age of nine, Branden went back into the system in the state of Michigan.

This time Branden was placed with a family that has for the last nine years been his support and family. They made a family decision that adoption is not the route for Branden to go because he may lose some supports when he goes to college. However, Branden knows this family is his family. “My foster parents say it is just a piece of paper. I am still their son and I have been for the nine plus years I have been here at their home, and I agree with them, love is love. No piece of paper matters.” Branden is involved in his high school by serving as the president for the Teen Advisory Board. This board focuses on raising money for books for the school library. He also has been part of a program called Upward Bound, in the Math and Science Program. This program focuses on college preparation. Branden has a green thumb.

“I enjoy being one with nature and animals. I also garden both vegetables and flowers.” He also likes to take photographs and takes time on a regular basis to reflect on his day.

Team(s) or Cohort(s)
2009 Outstanding Young Leaders