Brandon Queen dedicates himself to everything that he does. As he pursues a Bachelor of Business Administration with a double major in finance and information systems management, he still finds time to give back while maintaining a 4.0. Brandon serves as a mentor to high school students as part of the FIRST Robotics program. He also helped found an event that focuses on providing new and unique opportunities for young women interested in STEM fields. Often an underrepresented group in this field, the event reached approximately 500 young women in its first year and is projected to grow further in years to come. He’s gained additional real world experience as an intern at Bosch and as a K-12 substitute teacher. Still, he remains active on campus through activities such as the Talent Gateway and has shared his student experience at campus events for the Honors Program, High School Counselor Appreciation and numerous First Gen student events. Here, he shares insight into all those things that make him a Difference Maker.
Brandon, in his own words
On the First Gen experience. “While navigating college as a first-generation student is sometimes like wandering in the unknown, I feel that this challenge does not come without its share of rewards. Oftentimes, challenges like this allow us to better ourselves and, in turn, understand how to help make others better as well. It is for this reason that I have dedicated a lot of time to helping other First Gen students be more informed, connected, and celebrated as the First Gen Student Committee Leader at UM-Dearborn. There are many times in life that we are forced to walk into the unknown and we can either shy away from it or we can embrace the challenge, test our skills, and come out having learned something new about the world or about ourselves, and the challenges faced as a First Gen student are no different. I am thankful that the university has provided me with opportunities to share my knowledge while I continue to develop as an individual as the First Gen Student Committee Leader.”
On being a mentor. “When I first agreed to return to my former high school robotics team to mentor, I thought it would be a great way to share some of my knowledge with students within the program and help gain more leadership experience in the process. What I didn’t expect is just how meaningful this would turn out to be. As a mentor, I am able to see students enter the program in their freshman or sophomore year of high school as rather shy individuals who stay to themselves. They may lack communication skills and certainly have no idea how to build a robot. Fast forward a few years and you look at a room full of high school seniors that are truly ready for the world and are completely different people than those you met just a few short years earlier. Yes, they are often able to help build a robot — but more importantly they become better communicators, better team members, and better human beings who understand much more about themselves in the process. It is an absolute honor for me to be able to contribute to this process and my hundreds of hours of involvement pay off every time a student takes my advice and feedback to heart and improves because of it.”
On what makes him a Difference Maker. “What makes me a Difference Maker is the way that I strive to continually improve myself to be the best that I can be while giving back to others along the way. I am very proud that the work I put into everything I do — from my position at Bosch to my positions as a mentor and a leader in my academic life — is not going unnoticed. I look forward to continuing to learn more about myself and the world around me as I help others do the same for years to come.”