What It Means to Be a Mentor


Last month we shared what some of our scholars had to say about how being a part of The Brandon Foundation has affected them. This month, we bring you a few words from 4 of our mentors about what it means to them to be involved with The Brandon Foundation.

Miss Caty, Founder and Executive Director

Mentee: Isaiah

How/why did you become a mentor with TBF?

I became a mentor because I wanted to help kids realize their potential and achieve their goals.

What makes TBF a special organization?

Every single student! I love my time with Isaiah and how he listens when I give him advice. I REALLY love to serve on Saturdays, too. Watching them become leaders has been an incredible part of this journey.

What is your favorite thing about being involved with TBF or your favorite activity?

Getting to know each student’s dream and helping them get to figure out how to make it happen.

DeAundre: 1st play

Dejiah: Visit Indiana tech

Darrell and Khi: play soccer

Miss Tara, Board of Directors Treasurer

Mentee: De’Aundre

How/why did you become a mentor with TBF?

Miss Caty told me about her goals and dreams for the foundation in the beginning stages and asked if I would be interested in being a mentor.

What makes TBF a special organization?

The mentors and students build strong relationships. TBF finds each student’s strengths and interests and nurtures individuality and leadership.

What is your favorite thing about being involved with TBF or your favorite activity?

My favorite thing is seeing the kids each week, and I love listening to what students write during journaling.

Mr. Abdul

Mentee: Dejiah

How/why did you become a mentor with TBF?

I wanted to give back to the community. Miss Caty came to my college and talked about TBF, and I’ve wanted to help with the progress ever since.

What makes TBF a special organization?

I feel that the students make this place special. Their different personalities make this place unique.

What is your favorite thing about being involved with TBF or your favorite activity?

I like being able to meet up with my student on a weekly basis. This place helps me feel that I am needed and loved.

Miss Kelly

Mentee: Shawnn Michael

How/why did you become a mentor with TBF?

I became a mentor because I knew some other mentors, and they loved it. So, I decided to see what it was about. I immediately loved it, and it means the world to me to help the kids. I recently got a tattoo of The Brandon Foundation’s logo as a lifetime reminder of how the organization has impacted my life.

What makes TBF a special organization?

TBF is special because not only do we help the children with their homework, but we also try to teach them about being upstanding Christians and that even though they are young, they can give back to the community and make a difference in the world.

What is your favorite thing about being involved with TBF or your favorite activity?

My favorite thing about being involved with the foundation is helping the kids.

Thank you for reading!

Abby Bormann & The Brandon Foundation

P.S. Please like our page on Facebook by clicking Like in the top left corner, under the cover photo! www.facebook.com/TheBrandonFoundation/

Scholars and World Citizens


Among the qualities that make up a great leader is good citizenship. At The Brandon Foundation, one way that we practice this trait is through monthly community service activities. In fact, we already have almost the whole school year’s volunteer days planned.


For the month of September, thirty scholars, mentors, board and family members volunteered with Kids Against Hunger. Together with thirty-five other teams, more than 100,000 meals were packed to send to families in the Philippines! It was exciting to be part of such an effort, seeing members of the Fort Wayne community come together to aid global citizens half way around the world.


Rebecca Bormann, President of the Board of Directors, said of her experience at the event, “I was very fortunate to have a father who instilled in me the importance of giving back. One of his favorite quotes by Martin Luther King, Jr. is ‘Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, “What are you doing for others?”’ I feel so grateful to be able to help pass this lesson along to our scholars. I love to watch our students generosity out-poured and eagerness to help others!”



Kids Against Hunger is a food-aid organization based in Omaha, Nebraska, with more than 75 satellite locations across the U.S. and Canada. KAH’s goal is to eradicate world hunger, which they do through packaging highly nutritious, fortified soy-rice casserole meals. They partner with other organizations to distribute meals in over 60 countries. Last year, Kids Against Hunger’s packaging centers put together over forty million meals!


Our plans for the upcoming months are:


October- Lutheran Children’s Hospital – painting pumpkins with patients


November – Community Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Indiana


December – Make and distribute care packages for Fort Wayne’s homeless


January – OPEN


February –Lutheran Children’s Hospital – making Valentine’s cards with patients


March – Lutheran Life Village – visit the elderly


April – St. Mary’s Soup Kitchen


May – OPEN

If you know of any organizations that need a helping hand from our good citizens let us know! We’re still looking for a couple of opportunities yet this year. You can email us at brandonfoundation@hotmail.com. 

We are BLESSED to be a BLESSING!

Thank you for reading!

Abby Bormann & The Brandon Foundation

The mission, should you choose to accept it: Kindness

The mission, should you choose to accept it: Kindness

Last week as our scholars reflected on the results of our recent presidential election, the discussion turned inward. The President of the United States, together with the other branches of the federal government, holds an enormous amount of power with potential to change the world on a grand scale. But if you’re not POTUS, how can an individual, even a very young one, change the world? The answer The Brandon Foundation discussed was one random act of kindness at a time. From this, came the scholars’ mission to be carried out over the next two weeks. Use $10 to make an impact on their world and spread kindness!


Here are some of the ideas our scholars came up with:


Darrell: Put $10 in a blessing bag that will be handed out to Fort Wayne’s homeless as part of The 

Brandon Foundation’s annual Blessing Bags Project, which will be our December service event.


Malakhi, Ethan & Shawn Michael: Give $2 each to 5 people.


Josh: Buy 5 Bibles to give to 5 people.


Saphia: Buy 24 cupcakes to pass out to people.


Isaiah, Auntral, Medina & DJ: Give $10 to 1 person in need.


Elijah: Give $10 to someone when he next goes out to eat.


DeAundre: Purchase 3 cases of water and write affirmations on each battle. Then pass out the bottles of water to 72 people.






We hope you’ll join Mission: Kindness this week and throughout the holidays!


Don't forget that next Tuesday, November 29th is Giving Tuesday! If you'd like to make a donation to The Brandon Foundation, you can click the "Donate Now" link at the top of our blog page. Our goal for this year's campaign is $1,500.


Also, we are delighted to be one of the many charitable organizations that shoppers can support through AmazonSmile. In case you haven't heard, "AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you." If you go to smile.amazon.com, you can select a charity to support. Then each time you shop, Amazon will donate 0.5% of the purchase price to the organization. Just make sure that you always shop on smile.amazon.com!


Happy Thanksgiving!

Abby Bormann & The Brandon Foundation

30 Things The Brandon Foundation Is Thankful for

November is the month of Thanksgiving. The holiday was originally celebrated to give thanks for the harvest and preceding year. At The Brandon Foundation, we have so much to be thankful for, and we wanted to share a few of those things with you! Here are 30 things we’re thankful for, one thing for each day in the month of November.

  • Jesus, our Lord and Savior through whom all things are possible
  • That we are an organization guided by God through our purpose
  • Miss Caty, our Founder and Executive Director
  • Our Scholars
    • Aaliyah, Auntral, Darrell, DeAundre, Deijah, DJ, Edyn, Elijah, Ethann, Isaiah, Josh, Malakhi, Medina, Noel, Saphia and Shawnn Michael
  •  Our Mentors
    • Mr. Abdul, Mr. Albert, Miss Aly, Miss Brittany, Mr. Chuck, Miss Dawn, Mr. Drew, Miss Jasmine, Miss Kelly, Mr. Nik, Miss Sara
  • Our Board of Directors
    • Miss Cadie, Mr. Chris, Miss Melissa, Miss Rebecca and Miss Tara
  • Miss Khiala, our Assistant Director
  • The parents of our scholars who support us all every step of the way
  • Our Fundraising Committee
    • Miss Brie and Miss Jen
  • Our Volunteer Marketing Expert
    • Miss Abby
  • Our Corporate Sponsors
    • Big City Cars, Calico Precision Molding, Holm Reporting & Video, Northside Plumbing and Sweeney Law Firm
  • Our Donors & Supporters
  • Our families
  • Our Guest Speakers
  • Opportunities to volunteer and give back to our community
  • Prayer Circle
  • Friendships, old and new
  • Snack Time
  • The opportunity and ability to learn
  • The schools that our scholars attend and their teachers
  • Activities like art, sports, and mindful movement
  • The Fort Wayne Community
  • The many local churches that families of The Brandon Foundation attend
  • St. Henry’s Community Center
  • Group Outings, like the Pacers' game we got to see last Friday
  • Kava the therapy dog and his master Miss Angela
  • The Three Rivers Parade
  • Local Universities, especially IPFW and St. Francis
  • Indiana Youth Institute who helped in our strategic planning as well as with training for mentors and board members
  • Giving Tuesday and all those helped us raise $1,600, exceeding our goal!

What are you thankful for this holiday season?



Thank you for reading!

Abby Bormann & The Brandon Foundation

And Now…A Word from Our Scholars

In the fall, you heard a lot about what The Brandon Foundation does and is. To start out 2017, I wanted to offer some perspective about what The Brandon Foundation means to our scholars and mentors. With that, I leave you to read a few words from our scholars.

An Interview with Aaliyah and Edyn

What is your favorite activity at The Brandon Foundation?

Aaliyah: Inspirational videos at the end of The Brandon Foundation

Edyn: Service projects because I feel like I’m doing something good. My favorite service project was the first one I did, with Kids Against Hunger.



What is the most important thing you’ve learned at The Brandon Foundation?

A: Learning about God.


E: Don’t let anyone stop you from achieving your goals and dreams. I dream of becoming an actress and traveling the world before I leave this world.


Aaliyah, what are your goals?

A: My dream is to become a vet. My short-term goal is to continue to achieve Honor Roll and to exceed the expectations for Honor Roll.


Who was your favorite speaker and why?

A & E: The Christian rapper Mickey Young was their favorite guest speaker because people doubted him and told him he couldn’t become a successful Christian rapper, but he kept going and grew his career how he wanted to.


What is a new experience that you’ve been able to have because of The Brandon Foundation?

E: I got to try karate at The Brandon Foundation, and afterwards I joined a karate class. I liked the self-defense aspect of it.


A: I enjoyed trying sculpting and step dancing for the first time.




Survey responses from De’Aundre and Isaiah



What is the most important thing you’ve learned at TBF?

I learned about hard work and dedication.


What is your favorite thing to do at TBF?

Bonding with my mentor


Who was your favorite speaker?

Christian rapper Mickey Young aka Deven Bridges



What is the most important thing you’ve learned at TBF?

I learned to dream big and keep working hard. This is important to me so that I won’t end up like my father.


What is your favorite thing to do at TBF?

My favorite thing is talking to my mentor because she gives me wisdom.


Who was your favorite speaker?

I don’t know; I guess all of them.






Come back in March to read about our mentors!


Thank you for reading!

Abby Bormann & The Brandon Foundation

Planning for the Future: The Brandon Foundation’s Strategic Plan

As The Brandon Foundation’s 4th academic year begins next Tuesday, the Board of Directors has been planning for the many years to come. This summer, The Brandon Foundation Board met with Michael Burns Consulting, LLC to put together a three year strategic plan.

The Board first completed a thorough analysis of what The B Foundation has accomplished so far, where our strengths and weaknesses lie, and which resources are already available to us and which are lacking. After much consideration, they set goals, prioritized them, and considered what steps we need to take to accomplish them.

Here’s a peak into the Board’s assessment of the current Brandon Foundation and the potential future in store for us:

Our greatest strengths are the reputation that we’ve built in the Fort Wayne community and Christian principles that guide us. Our main weaknesses come from the increasing need for volunteers and the limitations of our current facility that we are beginning to outgrow.

SIDE NOTE: If you or someone you know is interested in getting involved, we have a variety of opportunities for YOU! We need mentors, board members, committee participants, grant writers, a mentor coordinator, and an educational consultant! If you don’t have a lot of time to spare for an official position, you can also support us at our events!

The biggest opportunity that we see on the horizon is to find a corporate or private sponsor, which would grow our financial resources. This would allow us to expand the program. However, it is extremely important that we maintain the one-on-one relationships between scholars and mentors, so it will be key to our success to grow only if it makes sense for the organization. We do not want to grow too quickly simply for growth’s sake. The pressure to expand is the biggest threat to The B Foundation as an increase in the number of scholars without an equal increase in mentors will pull us away from one of our core values.

A few of our future goals include: moving into our own facility, additional board members, paid staff members, and honing our governance practices. Our ultimate dream is for current scholars to return to The Brandon Foundation as future mentors!

With the continued encouragement and support of community members like you, we know that we can achieve all that we’ve dreamed and more!

Thank you for reading!

Abby Bormann & The Brandon Foundation

Summer Break for The Brandon Foundation Scholars

Summertime means no school, staying up later, catching lightening bugs in the evening, and SUMMER CAMPS!!! This summer, our students attended many different camps.

Deaundre and DJ picked up some new moves at the Plex Flag Football camp! Through the Plex’s program, Deaundre and DJ learned about being strong and active not only physically but also mentally through hard work, drive, and initiative. Deaundre also performed in the Civic Theatre’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat as a part of the children’s choir!

Isaiah and Auntral went to the Euell Wilson summer camp. The Christian-based organization focuses on helping youth to develop values and skills needed to become contributing citizens and productive leaders. The boys went to teen night and participated in dance team. Auntral got to play football at St. Francis. And to top it all off, they spent a week at Bear Lake! They canoed, slept in a cabin, and roasted marshmallows nightly!

Shawn Michael took gymnastics classes at Gymnastics in Motion. The gym believes in introducing children to healthy physical activity by providing a fun and safe learning environment! Gymnastics in Motion prides itself on keeping class sizes small both for safety and so that students can get the individual attention they need in a positive and helpful atmosphere.

Our girls – Edyn, Medina, and Aaliyah – spent a week in the great outdoors at Camp Michindoh in Hillsdale, Michigan. Michindoh is a Christian-centered camp and conference center on a beautiful 250 acres serving adults and youth of MICHigan, INDiana, and OHio. The girls swam, did lots of activities, and made new friends in a fun and caring environment! I got a chance to speak briefly with the Jackson sisters after they returned from camp, and here’s what they had to say about a few of their favorite things at Michindoh:

Medina loved swimming and going to the chapel every day! Campers went to chapel once in the morning and once in the evening daily. Medina found the chapel sessions to be fun and inspiring!

Aaliyah’s favorite activities at camp were going to chapel, volleyball, crafts, and archery!

Thank you for reading!

Abby Bormann & The Brandon Foundation