Scholar Class – 2013
Born into a low-income Puerto Rican household, Brett Bruhanski was raised by his single-mother in South East Los Angeles. His conservative Catholic upbringing made realizing his sexuality an incredibly difficult process, and caused him to fall into severe clinical depression up until he came out at the age of 16. Due to his illness, he was unable to finish high school on time, and completed his diploma two years late at an adult high school program. Understanding community college was a chance at redemption, Brett excelled at his academics, but also found solace in community service and social activism. Taking charge of the honors societies at Long Beach City College, Brett focused their outreach on the LGBTQ community, working with both the Gay & Lesbian Center in Long Beach and Point Foundation in Los Angeles. Finding passion in politics, policy, and leadership, Brett graduated and transferred at the top of his class. Studying political science and public policy at the University of California, Berkeley, Brett immediately got involved in elected politics in the Associated Students of the University of California. He hopes to positively impact the experience of marginalized communities at Cal and in the Bay Area before moving on to graduate school for public policy.