Student Stories

Brayden: Taking a chance on brotherhood

In January, 2023 Brayden M. found himself at a crossroads after being expelled from his second middle school. His turbulent history of fighting and bullying had left him with limited options for continuing his education. However, his path took a positive turn when Brayden’s determined mother approached Principal Kevin  Festerling at Kingdom Prep (KP) with a heartfelt plea to help her find a solution for Brayden.  Recognizing the potential for change and growth in every young man, Festerling extended an opportunity to Brayden. Despite being an 8th grader, Brayden was allowed to attend 9th-grade classes at KP. 

Although he faced struggles, it was evident that Brayden was faring better than he did in his previous school environments.  The atmosphere at Kingdom Prep played a significant role in Brayden’s change. The strong sense of brotherhood within the KP community provided him with much-needed support and guidance. With a history of disruptive behavior, Brayden’s path to becoming a better young man was paved with both gentle encouragement and firm redirection from his fellow students and teachers.

A pivotal moment in Brayden’s journey took place during Nehemiah Hour, a period dedicated to problem-based learning and character development. During this time, he took on the task of repairing a classroom door that had a shattered glass window. Was this a symbol of his commitment to rebuilding not just the physical door but also his own life?  In a heartwarming turn of events, one of the school’s upperclassmen and graduating seniors, Jeremiah Belen, took Brayden under his wing. Recognizing the opportunity to make a positive impact, Belen selflessly taught Brayden how to operate the air compressor and other tools needed to complete the door repair. With unwavering support and guidance, Brayden learned valuable skills and life lessons from his mentor.  The following day, Brayden surprised everyone by taking the initiative and completing the door repair on his own. and mentorship in transforming a young man’s life.  The remarkable progress made by Brayden at Kingdom Prep paved the way for him to pursue a fresh start as a true freshman in the fall of 2023.  His determination, coupled with the unwavering support of the KP brotherhood, has set him on a positive trajectory for success.

As Brayden steps into the next chapter of his life, the Kingdom Prep community stands proud, knowing that they played a vital role in shaping a young man who has the potential to make a positive impact on the world around him.