Mion Edwards | Staff Writer
Breeon Buchanan’s dynamic presence is undeniable. This charismatic 20-year-old man grew up in North Philadelphia, where he experienced the growing pains of a rough neighborhood and living in a single parent home with his brother.
“My mom was raising two boys on her own, My community was like a crab barrel of people trying to pull other people down to reach to the top,” said Buchanan. Due to this unfortunate community dynamic, Buchanan always dreamed of a more positive environment for younger individuals to grow up in. One that was conducive of success.
It may come as a shock that Buchanan was timid child in his early years. “I was shy growing up. I got bullied, because I stood out.” Also, with racial profiling being prevalent in his neighborhood, Buchanan was almost shot twice and has been stopped and frisked in front of his entire neighborhood. To this day Buchanan still questions the situation, “The [police] treated me like I was not human. What if I was the next Trayvon Martin? What if they really shot me?” Despite the negativity Buchanan faced, he did not let that stop him from surrounding himself with positive role models. His mother and best friend are his biggest supporters for all of his endeavors.
Buchanan is the creator and visionary for two initiatives he has developed for his community. “Too Busy Dreaming” is his first initiative that he uses to create positive music and uplift his audience. His second initiative, “215 on the Rise” is a youth-run theater organization that allows others to display their talents, such as poetry, music and acting.
Buchanan not only spreads optimism in Philadelphia, but at his “Home by the Sea” as well. His vivacious personality has even landed him the opportunity to host the coveted “Battle of the States” competition in March 2015, as well as the Hampton Idol competition during Homecoming Week. However, during the 2014-2015 spring semester, Buchanan was awestruck with the news that to continue attending Hampton, he needed to pay the university susbtantially more money than he had.
Being the ambitious person he is, Buchanan explored all the avenues he could think of to produce the money, never settling on the idea of not returning to Hampton.
“I felt a little reluctant when I didn’t receive any callbacks from the jobs I applied too, but I talked to my best friend Zeph and I decided to make a Gofundme account… I prayed about it, then I did it.” Within the first hour he received $170. He also handed out flyers in his community and at church. By the end of the summer, he reached his goal and made more than he needed to pay Hampton on Gofundme.
The Hamptonian believes he overcame his obstacle with his faith in the Lord. “I don’t want to take the credit, it was everybody who believed in me and most importantly it was God.” Buchanan encourages other students who may find themselves in a similar position to not let anyone tell you that you can’t do something.
“Find a solution and do everything you can to make [finding the resources] happen. Your [desire] to succeed should be greater than your will to breathe.” He had faith that things that things would work in his favor and that God would turn his situation into a blessing.
Buchanan believes that his situation made him a better person and more appreciative of his education, and he does not believe that anyone should take their education for granted.
“This education is not given to us, it is earned and no amount of money in this world can buy you knowledge. Don’t take anything for granted because it can easily be taken away.”
With last summer being a humbling and successful experience Buchanan has a greater appreciation for Hampton University, its current students and alumni.
The Hampton community lifted him up and helped him come back to his “Home By the Sea.” The legacy Buchanan wants to leave is to touch everyone that he comes into contact with through his life experiences and his initiatives.