From Brandon J.

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Brandon J. Harris was born in Detroit, MI. at Hutzel Hospital on May 14, 1986 to Deanna Ervin (Mother) and the late George Donald Harris (Father).

Growing up, Brandon was raised in a singing family and he later gained a passion for music and the arts himself. Brandon started singing at the age of three at a local Detroit church (Locket Memorial Church of God & Christ) and later went on to take piano lessons and join the Boys Choir of Detroit, in which he landed a variety of solo pieces. After gaining a passion for singing/music, Brandon wanted to pursue other avenues in the arts as well and soon began to write his own short stories, plays and even songs with the hopes of accomplishing his goal of becoming a professional entertainer.

Additionally, growing up Brandon had become very successful in academics and became involved in a variety of extracurricular activities which helped him develop his other many talents. Brandon ran track, experimented with modeling (John Robert Powers Modeling School), acted, and joined several art classes after learning about his raw talent in drawing and painting.

Later, Brandon went on to attend Edwin C. Denby High School in 2000 where he became widely respected by peers, teachers and administration for his “down to earth” personality, success in academics and his variety of talents.

When beginning high school, Brandon instantly joined the school’s choir, under the direction of Sylvia Greenwood, to advance his musical gifts. Brandon became classically trained musically and participated in the district’s Solo & Ensemble Festival 3 years in a row (his sophomore, junior and senior year). The program was for students to perfume one classical and one spiritual piece and to be rated before a professional judge on a 1-4 scale, 1 being the highest for an excellent performance and 4 being the lowest. Each year Brandon received a “1” (for an excellent performance) and became eligible to participate in the state wide Solo & Ensemble Festival. Also during high school, Brandon gained a greater passion for songwriting and began more writing and arranging. Because of his talent with song writing, Brandon decided to rewrite the school’s theme song, which became highly accepted and popular among his fellow peers and staff members. Additionally, Brandon was later elected president for the Concert Choir and began to train other peers vocally and musically.

Brandon not only pursued his passion for music during high school, but he also became active in other extracurricular activities. Brandon was elected into the school’s Student Government, in which he attended the Michigan Youth in Government program, was the head writer and editor of the 9th grade freshman newspaper, joined the Drama Club, in which he landed the starring male role in the Christmas play “Reason for the Season,” became a member of The National Honor Society, and participated in community work/events, such as The Detroit PEACE rally and the Adopt a Child Program. Additionally, Brandon received a variety of essay writing awards from various programs, including the Michigan Educational Assessment Program (M.E.A.P) by the State of Michigan.

After High School, Brandon went on to attend Oakland Community College and graduated Cum Laude in May 2010, obtaining an associate’s degree in Liberal Arts. After the completion of Brandon’s associate’s degree, Brandon relocated to Kalamazoo MI. in 2011 and started working on his Bachelors of Science degree in Family Studies, also known as Family Life Education, at Western Michigan University (WMU) in 2012.

While attending WMU, Brandon started briefly at InterAct of Michigan, as an intern, in which he provided assertive community treatment services to individuals with serious and persistent mental illnesses, personality disorders, severe functional impairments, and to individuals who have avoided or not responded well to traditional outpatient mental health care and psychiatric rehabilitation services. He also worked with the homeless, substance abusers and individuals involved in the judicial system to provide comprehensive, community-based psychiatric treatment, rehabilitation, and support.

Shortly after InterAct, Brandon joined the local community-based non-profit AIDS organization: CARES - Community AIDS Resource and Education Services as an intern. This organization focuses on minimizing further transmission of HIV and to maximize the quality of life for all people affected by HIV. Here Brandon gained certification by The Michigan Department of Community Health: Division of Health Wellness and Disease Control as a HIV Prevention Specialist & Test Counselor. Shortly after interning, Brandon gained a full-time position with CARES as a Prevention Specialist and is currently working on a 7-Part HIV Modular curriculum program called HI-V (High Five): Help Ignite Validity and Fight the Stigma of HIV.

Additionally, at WMU, Brandon became involved in the Academic Integrity Committee, in which he was elected by his Respective Academic Department (Family Studies) and Trained by the Office of Student Conduct for Academic Integrity Hearings. On this committee, Brandon’s job was to serve on the Academic Integrity Hearing Panel that consisted of faculty and students to hear student charges and to determine whether the charge had merit.

Despite all of Brandon’s involvement at WMU, he stayed focused and grounded in his goals and still excelled academically. Because of Brandon’s success and achievements in academics at WMU, he was considerably invited to more than 6 national and local honor societies. However, Brandon selectively joined only The National Society of Leadership & Success and the Kappa Omicron Nu Honor Society for Family & Consumer Sciences honor students. Brandon eventually graduated Magna Cum Laude from WMU on April 26, 2014 with an overall G.P.A. of 3.95 on a 4.0 grading scale. With the completion of graduation, Brandon is currently working on becoming a certified Family Life Educator by the National Council on Family Relations.

Currently: Brandon has a variety of projects in the works. Of course Brandon is continuously working on new music and intends to write music that will be relatable to others, as well as uplift, inspire, and motivate others. Brandon is also working on a novel (T.B.A.), has plans to write a stage play, plans to write and direct an independent film/soundtrack, and will continue to develop his program HI-V (High Five). Stay tuned for the various works of Brandon J. Harris.