Citadel junior Braxton McDuffie is a passionate advocate, mentor, and role model for children and adolescents facing challenging lives. His energy and enthusiasm in helping young people become their best selves is contagious, and his leadership in encouraging fellow students to join his work is particularly inspiring. Braxton pours his compassion and expertise into helping children learn to read, express themselves, and envision a successful future. He can transform distracted and resistant young people participating in summer academic enrichment programs into enthusiastic and expressive readers, writers and artists after just a few encounters. A prize-winning toastmaster, Braxton demonstrates how empowering and vital clear verbal expression can be. He credits his many childhood mentors for helping him make good choices, and he in turn challenges the young people he works with to aim high and work hard.
"It takes a village to raise a child." That is all I heard growing up, so when it came to being active in the community, it was second nature. After being one of those kids whom coaches, church members, and teachers engaged with at a very young age, I am amazed to see how much one can positively impact a child by just being present. I know for me, that village-like mentality was a necessity to help me stay on track to be as successful as I am today. There were times where I struggled with priorities and decision-making growing up, but I had people in my corner to help me go down the path less traveled and work hard. I want to give today's kids that same interest, feeling of greatness, and positive influence, so they know that they are the future leaders of this world. It is also a bonus when you see the kids go off and do great things knowing that you were just a small part in a big accomplishment for their life. Community engagement is something I really feel committed to and I hope I can inspire others to feel the same way.