Scanning each of the 102 stories of the Empire State Building, Brandon Davis sees much more than the tallest building in New York City; he see an Art Deco skyscraper with stainless steel canopies accentuating the entrances and glass-enclosed bridges for accessibility--a modern wonder.
"When I was in 4th or 5th grade, we went to New York as a family, and my uncle, who is an architect, gave us an architectural tour of the city," Brandon, now a Baylor senior, recalled. "That's when I began to fall in love with it. My mom always said I would be an architect."
But it's Brandon's eye for design and creative detail matched with his heart of service that sets him apart. Raised by parents who are both social workers, Brandon grew to understand the value of giving back at an early age...and is adamant about volunteerism.
"Right now, all I have to give is my time, so I do that. I've had so many great people who have influenced my life and helped shape me into a Christian man," he shared. "So, I think it's important to pay it forward. Hopefully, when I'm financially stable, I will be able to give more."
"Baylor shapes you so that you can impact people even if you're not going into the service industry," Brandon continued. "More than even being an architect, I want to help and serve people."
It's a guarantee that Brandon will be an architect--an architect who not only designs buildings, but who loves people with real compassion and selflessness. His future is bright, but it didn't always seem that way.
During Brandon's freshman year, that light was only a dim flicker at the end of a dark tunnel of catastrophe. Beyond the normal financial struggles of a single-parent home, Brandon's mother was diagnosed with cancer and dealt skyrocketing medical bills--shrinking his hope of graduating from Baylor.
"People sometimes have the idea that Baylor students don't really need help," Brandon said. "But there are tons of students, like myself, who need financial aid in order to realize their dreams."
In the midst of hopeless circumstances, Brandon and his mother stood in faith that God would open the door--and He did. "We were so grateful when we received scholarship support," Brandon reflected. "We had the feeling that God was going to make a way...and to see that come into realization was incredible. There's no way to describe it. It's everything I wanted and had put forth so much effort to see happen. To finally see it was going to work out was unbelievable."