Charter Alumni Spotlight: Brandy Fernandez
October 04, 2021
Each month, the GVSU Charter Schools Office spotlights a current GVSU student who graduated from a GVSU-authorized charter public school.
This month, we are pleased to introduce you to Brandy Fernandez. Brandy is in her fourth year at GVSU and is studying psychology. Prior to coming to GVSU, Brandy graduated from Grand River Preparatory High School, located in Kentwood.
Outside of class, Brandy is passionate about supporting children with disabilities. She has dedicated hundreds of hours to the Comprehensive Therapy Center, a nonprofit organization in Grand Rapids that serves children with disabilities who are at-risk or disadvantaged. During the four summers Brandy worked at the Center, she helped kids through skill building, academic enhancement and social emotional support.
Brandy recently took some time to share a little more about how her experiences at Grand River Prep and GVSU have shaped where she is at today.
Tell us a little about your time at Grand River Prep. What did you like about it?
I’m glad I went to Grand River Prep. The school has strong requirements related to academics, volunteer work, and college acceptance. They really push students to meet those standards, so it definitely prepares you for what comes next. The teachers were a big help, especially my AP psychology teacher, who did a great job of making the material really intriguing.
What advice would you give to current students at GR Prep who are preparing for life after high school?
Look into dual enrollment, or find other ways to work toward your college credits while you are in high school. Even the brief experiences I had with college professors showed me important pieces about what college would be like.
When did you first learn about GVSU? What was appealing about coming here?
I had always heard about GVSU simply by being a charter student and living close to the university. A lot of students from Grand River Prep come to GVSU, and I also had family members come here.
What have you enjoyed so far at GVSU?
I really like being on a campus that has so much going on. Between all the sports and student organizations, there are endless choices for what you can do here.
How is GVSU helping you move closer to your goals, either academically or professionally?
There are a lot of help and resources that support my studies. The tutoring center is a big help, but the most beneficial tool is probably the structured learning assistance that is part of my class. It’s the type of support that motivates you to do better every day.
What type of goals do you have for yourself once you graduate?
I’d like to do work similar to that of a behavior technician or rehab technician because I really want to work with kids with special needs. I also can’t wait to be able to get a place of my own.
What is a piece of advice about college that will always stay with you?
I should remember that it is OK to take my time with school. I don’t need to feel rushed or pressured to graduate just to meet somebody else’s standards. As long as I am satisfied with what I am doing and the goals I have set for myself, then I will be OK.
What is something you’ve accomplished that you are really proud of, whether it occurred at GR Prep or GVSU?
I’m really proud of the work I’ve done at the Comprehensive Therapy Center because I know the work I am doing will make a huge impact for kids as they grow.