When Brett first came into the care of The Home at age eight, he was a frightened, introverted child who preferred to have his head in a book rather than talk to people—his security blanket was his closest friend. He’d had a difficult home life, made worse by being separated from his brother and sister when they were adopted and he was not. Over the eight years he was with us, and under the care and guidance of our clinical and educational staff, Brett made tremendous progress.
When he was in his early teens, Brett joined the President’s Youth Council—a group of representative youth from various programs at The Home who give feedback to Joan Wallace-Benjamin about their experiences. He was doing so well academically that he entered the Boston Exam School Admissions Test and came in second in the entire city!
Our challenge was how to help this talented and motivated child who had no family to speak of. Joan Wallace-Benjamin spoke with the admissions director at the Noble and Greenough School, one of New England’s most prestigious preparatory schools, and explained Brett’s story. Joan learned that just the day before, one full-scholarship student had withdrawn and it was agreed to give the place to Brett.
He was so determined to make the most of this opportunity that Brett was able to overlook obstacles that might have derailed another child. While his classmates went home to family and friends on weekends, Brett came back to his place at The Home. But the move to Nobles proved to be the key that opened doors for Brett. He made friends, joined singing and acting groups, took art classes—all while maintaining a B+/A- average!
Brett graduated last spring and this fall became a student at the college of his choice, Boston University. The day before his graduation, Brett was honored at our annual Voices & Visions fundraising gala where he met for the first time Board Member Lora Khederian and her husband Bob, who provided the Khederian Family Scholarship that sent Brett to Nobles. Brett contacted us recently to let us know how much he was enjoying his first semester at college.
A little over two years ago, Brett was adopted by his long-time mentor at The Home, Brad Braufman. This was a particularly significant event because it is quite unusual for an older child in state care to find a permanent family. One of The Home’s tenets is that every child deserves a nurturing, stable and loving family. Brett Braufman Adam is a shining example of what a child can achieve with the support of caring adults.
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