Breanna Brown is an Exceptional Young Woman

Poised to Beat the Odds

Breanna grew up a few blocks from the Comer Education Campus. Raised by her grandmother, in a home that housed many other relatives, Breanna’s childhood was not easy. Yet, as a member of Gary Comer College Prep’s founding class, Breanna took full advantage of the opportunities provided on the Comer Education Campus. Breanna was motivated to achieve academically and became involved in a number of after-school activities at the Youth Center, including Green Teens, an urban gardening program, and Free Sprit Media, a digital news team.

In 2012, Breanna graduated from GCCP and matriculated to Illinois State University (ISU), becoming the first in her family to attend college. That summer, Breanna lost her brother to gun violence in Chicago. The following summer, she gave birth to her son Jehrico. These two events would have derailed many students, but Breanna found the strength to persist through these challenges to attain her goal of college graduation.

Despite the odds, Breanna has done more than persist at ISU, she has flourished.

Now in her fourth year, Breanna is dedicated to helping other Comer students. In addition to her studies, she volunteers as a peer alumni-coordinator. She acts as a mentor to new Comer freshman, organizing study nights, advising on course selection, and offering social and emotional support during their transition to campus life. Breanna also works as an after-school program coordinator at Sugar Creek Elementary and as a Volleyball Coach for Normal Parks and Recreation. She has worked tirelessly to help others succeed while maintaining a strong GPA.

When Breanna walks across the stage to accept her diploma as a member of the Class of 2017, she will become the first in her family to graduate from college. Breanna feels a deep need to give back, her goal is to return to Greater Grand Crossing to teach middle school on the Comer Education Campus.

Less than 15% of low-income students from Chicago Public Schools graduate from college. Breanna is poised to beat the odds.