By Shaleen Shah, News Staff Writer
Posted 10:40 AM EST, Thurs., Oct. 6, 2016
Updated 10:50 PM EST, Mon., Oct. 10, 2016
Howard University alumnus (c/o ‘14) Brandon Dean, who has devoted many years to working on city government advocacy and campaigns, is now the youngest elected mayor in Brighton, Alabama’s history at 24.
“There is an infallible kinship, a sense of belonging that I feel towards Howard, and I can relate this feeling towards my home city of Brighton. It urges me to do something for the community that made me who I am,” said Dean.
Dean has prepared to take on his duties with the experience he has had while interning under political leaders, and is determined to implement his knowledge to implement the much needed changes in Brighton, which has a population of about 3,000 people.
“I became acquainted with the magnitude with which addiction takes a toll in the family and society,” said Dean, “I recognize that addiction is one of the issues that plagues Brighton and that it needs to be rectified.”
Brandon credits his drive and motivation to his humble beginnings, and to the people who helped him through it. With a father who worked as a steelworker for 30 years and a grandmother who worked as a maid for 50 years, Dean points out that his family worked hard so that he would have opportunities.
Tracing Dean’s journey to Howard University would reveal the zeal and industriousness with which he stood up for important issues in the campus.
“Howard University prepares you for the best and the worst parts of life. There is just so much to experience, and many of these experiences can mold you into a mature, responsible person,” said Dean.
He credits Dr. Eleanor W. Traylor, a former faculty member in the English department at Howard University, as being one of the most influential figures who guided his course of life and career.
“Dr. Traylor taught me that in one quest for education, knowledge, purpose or anything else that is worth pursuing, there are certain protocols that one should follow, and certain qualities that one should instill upon oneself which are faith, humility, a capacity to listen and purpose,” said Dean.
As Dean looks ahead on his new chapter as mayor, he urges the current student body at Howard University to continue striving towards their goals.
“We should remember that as members of this community, we contribute to the striving institution that is Howard University,” he said. “We are an inseparable part of our community, if need be, we must fight for our place at the table, even if sometimes it is not readily given to us.”