Scholarship Spotlight: Brandon Pettaway
Brandon Pettaway is a senior attending Bryant University which has recently been featured in US Weekly as one of the top ten universities in the nation. He is a finance major with a concentration in sports studies. Brandon enjoys his business classes since the program allows students to use everyday examples and real life case studies to view current markets and business decisions. Not only has the Freedom Alliance scholarship helped with Brandon’s tuition at Bryant University, it has also given him the opportunity to study abroad in China to enhance his lingual skills.
Brandon’s family is deeply connected to the military, as both parents were enlisted in the U.S. Army. His mother, Maureen, served in the Army for a total of six years; three years of active duty and three years in the Army Reserve. His father, Staff Sergeant James Lee Pettaway, served in the Army and the Army Reserve for more than 15 years and in 2004 deployed to Iraq for the second time in two years. Brandon remembers his father telling him right before he left for Iraq, “You must stay strong; I’ll be home shortly”. Sadly, that was not the case. Brandon wrote, “In 2004 I lost a strong, powerful man in my life”. During a mortar attack, a round landed in the cab of his father’s vehicle in Fallujah, Iraq, causing him to sustain third degree burns on 80% of his body. SSG Pettaway died from his injuries one month later at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, TX.
The loss of his father and being left to be raised by his mother has made Brandon a stronger person. He wrote that, “it placed in front of me some of the toughest obstacles in my life”. But his father’s influence is so strong that Brandon has grown to be quite a respectful and mature young man. Losing his father has also taught him to value life and family much more as well as his education and his service to the community.
Though he doesn’t have much free time, he likes to participate in intramural basketball, flag football, and softball. He is an active member of Delta Kappa Epsilon and has been a Deke since his sophomore year. He believes his fraternity not only gives him brotherhood but also provides guidance and keeps him on task. During his summers, Brandon keeps himself busy by mentoring local young children and students from his former high school in basketball. He also works for the New York Knicks during their summer basketball camp.
Brandon has worked hard to be where he is today and this spring will graduate from Bryant University. He is currently applying for graduate programs in Sports Business at New York University, St. John’s University and Manhattanville College; he also hopes to find a job in the sports industry in the near future.
Through our Scholarship Fund, Freedom Alliance has supported hundreds of students like Brandon. To learn more or to apply for a scholarship, visit www.fascholarship.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org