Search Staff DirectoryBúsqueda en el Directorio del Personal

CCSD59.org

CCSD59 Alum Brandon Fox Shares Life’s Lessons with Grove Students

English|Español

“I remember Grove Jr High being a place of excitement & growth. All grade schools from the neighborhood consolidated, and from that I met some of my best friends still to this day. While attending Grove Jr. High, I joined the band and learned to play the snare drum. I also wrote my first song in 8th grade that I still remember to this day! There was a talent show at the end of the year that my friends and I participated in. Putting myself out there in front of the entire school is where I found my love in performing music.”
–  Performance Artist and Grove Alum Brandon Fox

Brandon Fox, former Grove Junior High School student and an up-and-coming musical artist and motivational speaker, came to visit his former school on Friday, September 29. His visit was a coordination between Grove’s SEL Interventionist Social Worker Michelle Acuña Amaro, the administration, and the Universal PBIS Team. Amaro said the type of local community ties Fox has made him a particularly relevant speaker to Grove’s students.

“Brandon grew up in the neighborhood and can speak to the same struggles that many of our students endure,” said Amaro. “We felt our students would really be able to relate to him, and hearing how he overcame those struggles would make an extra strong connection because he walked these streets and halls – it makes it more ‘real’ for them.”

Fox, born and raised in Elk Grove Village, said he feels he has a strong connection to his roots and wants to share his sense of civic responsibility with the kids. Fox recently visited Elk Grove High School, where he rehearsed with current choir students and performed with them during a pep rally.

The Elk Grove community has molded me into the person I am today; therefore, giving back in any way possible is something I will continue to do.

Brandon Fox

“I think it is extremely important to remember where you came from,” said Fox. “The Elk Grove community has molded me into the person I am today; therefore, giving back in any way possible is something I will continue to do. Speaking to schools across the country is one thing, but to be able to come back to the same school these students walk the halls in connects much deeper.”

In additional to the commonality of being a former Grove student himself, Fox connected with the students by honestly sharing his own life experiences, both good and bad. He spoke to the kids about the importance of finding your passions – in his junior high days, football and music – and using them as an outlet during difficult times.

He openly spoke about overcoming hardships and tragedies he has had personally, and how he learned to avoid using negative coping mechanisms in place of positive ones. He also stressed the importance of sharing thoughts and feelings with confidants, and shared his social media and email contact information with all the students. He told them, “If you need anything, if you need someone you can talk to, you CAN contact me – I WILL get back to you. I promise.” After watching him interact with the students and staff, you know he means it, too.

During his youth, Brandon enjoyed performing in talent shows and writing original music, and he spoke to how his personal experiences at Grove helped foster his musical talent. Fox is an experienced musician who toured across the US and performed at venues like Summer Fest and Lollapalooza with his former band, Makeshift Prodigy. He wisely used his talent to help bond with students so they will really hear his important message about overcoming hard times and being perseverant in goals. He showed students firsthand how creativity can be used as an effective way of communicating and impacting others. He encouraged the students to recognize their own talents and see the potential of their fellow classmates, too.

Brandon Fox speakingIn a particularly touching moment, Fox told the students to turn to the person next to them and say, “I believe in your goals. I believe in your dreams.” Watching the reactions of the students, some of whom became quite emotional when hearing these simple words, showed that Fox truly does understand how powerful they are.

Fox performed three original songs for the students, which was when the students really seemed to connect best with their alum. His final performance, off his upcoming album, “Glory”, had the students on their feet singing the refrain, “Nobody’s gonna bring me down” and high-fiving Fox as he went by.

Watching how well Fox was received by students certainly lends credence to Amaro’s thoughts that he could reach the students on a meaningful level. In a survey sent out after Fox’s presentation, students were asked what they heard Fox say or learned from the presentation. Over and over, the students responded the same things: to never give up on their dreams; to avoid drugs and alcohol as a means of coping during difficult times; to pursue their passions and believe in their own talents and skills; and to share their struggles with family and friends. One student wrote, “his life story, it reminded me of what’s going on right now in my own life.” Another responded, “Everyone goes through hard times, but something beautiful can come out of it.”

Amaro was not at all surprised about the connection between Fox and Grove’s current students. “We can teach them all about being resilient despite their struggles and tell them all about how important education is,” she said, “but to be able to see and hear it for themselves, from someone who has come through Grove and has lived the same experiences, makes an impact on a whole different level.”

Check out these tweets from the event:

 

  • Talent4 thumb
    “D59’s Got Talent” Wows the Audience“D59’s Got Talent” impresiona a la audiencia

    “D59’s Got Talent” Wows the Audience“D59’s Got Talent” impresiona a la audiencia

    “I think that the reason for its success is largely due to the fact that, though the Foundation sponsors this event, it is not about…“Creo que la razón de su éxito se debe en gran parte al hecho de que, aunque la Fundación patrocina este evento, no se trata…

    Continue ReadingSiga Leyendo
  • Two students with book
    Literacy in 59Alfabetización en 59

    Literacy in 59Alfabetización en 59

    #d59learns Being literate is essential for success in our modern world. In CCSD59, we focus on building a strong foundation of reading, writing, speaking and…#d59learns Ser alfabetizado es esencial para el éxito en nuestro mundo moderno. En CCSD59, nos enfocamos en construir una base sólida de habilidades de lectura,…

    Continue ReadingSiga Leyendo
  • LearningThumb
    Curriculum Design in 59El diseño curricular en 59

    Curriculum Design in 59El diseño curricular en 59

    At CCSD59, our teachers and staff have been hard at work designing the curriculum taught in our classrooms. Today, we’d like to take a moment…En el CCSD59, nuestros maestros y personal han hecho un gran esfuerzo para diseñar el currículo que se enseña en nuestros salones de clase. Nos…

    Continue ReadingSiga Leyendo
  • SELThumb
    The Importance of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) at CCSD59 and Beyond La importancia del aprendizaje socio-emocional (SEL) en CCSD59 y más allá

    The Importance of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) at CCSD59 and Beyond La importancia del aprendizaje socio-emocional (SEL) en CCSD59 y más allá

    CCSD59 is proud to announce that we are featured on the Education First and Novo Foundation website about best practices in social emotional learning (SEL).…CCSD59 tiene el orgullo de anunciar que nos presentan en el sitio web de Education First y Novo Foundation acerca de las mejores prácticas del…

    Continue ReadingSiga Leyendo
  • Thumb
    District Staff Joins Together to “Stock the Closet”

    District Staff Joins Together to “Stock the Closet”

    Did you know that CCSD59’s Community Cares Closet (CCC) helps district families in need of basic necessities? For no charge, qualifying families can shop the…

    Continue ReadingSiga Leyendo
  • Wrestling4thumb
    A Comeback Made Possible by Passion and PerseveranceRegresa la lucha gracias a la pasión y la perseverancia

    A Comeback Made Possible by Passion and PerseveranceRegresa la lucha gracias a la pasión y la perseverancia

    For over 20 years, Holmes Junior High School has not had a wrestling team. Thanks to the passion, excitement, and teamwork of CCSD59 students, staff,…Durante los últimos 20 años, no ha habido un equipo de lucha en Holmes Junior High School. Gracias a la pasión, entusiasmo y trabajo en…

    Continue ReadingSiga Leyendo
  • mathin59thumb
    Math in 59

    Math in 59

    #d59learns The approach to mathematics in CCSD59 is one in which students develop a passion for math through relevant and authentic learning experiences. Our goal…

    Continue ReadingSiga Leyendo
  • Student Placing Car on Ramp
    Learning in 59El aprendizaje en el 59.

    Learning in 59El aprendizaje en el 59.

    #d59learns Our mission at CCSD59 is to prepare students to be successful for life. To do that, we believe that providing a well-rounded, relevant, and…Nuestra misión en CCSD59 es preparar a los estudiantes para tener éxito toda la vida. Con este propósito, creemos que proporcionar una educación de alta…

    Continue ReadingSiga Leyendo
  • 1Devonshire Thumb Snowmen
    Holiday Spirit Thrives in CCSD59Espíritu festivo prospera en CCSD59

    Holiday Spirit Thrives in CCSD59Espíritu festivo prospera en CCSD59

    December is a often a time when we reflect not only upon the events that have happened all year long but also about how we…Diciembre es a menudo un momento en el que reflexionamos no solo sobre los eventos que han sucedido durante todo el año, sino también sobre…

    Continue ReadingSiga Leyendo
  • cindythumb
    Cindy Modrich - 59 in :59Cindy Modrich - 59 en :59

    Cindy Modrich - 59 in :59Cindy Modrich - 59 en :59

    Cindy Modrich, talent development teacher at Salt Creek and Rupley, considers herself one of the lucky people who always knew what profession called to her.…Cindy Modrich, maestra de desarrollo de talento en Salt Creek y Rupley, se considera una de las personas afortunadas que siempre supo qué profesión la…

    Continue ReadingSiga Leyendo
  • Thumb
    CCSD59 Students Honor VeteransLos estudiantes de CCSD59 honran a los veteranos

    CCSD59 Students Honor VeteransLos estudiantes de CCSD59 honran a los veteranos

    Did you know that Veterans Day, originally called “Armistice Day,” was first celebrated on November 11, 1919, in recognition of the first anniversary of the…¿Sabía que el Día de los Veteranos, originalmente llamado "Día del Armisticio,” se celebró por primera vez el 11 de noviembre de 1919, en reconocimiento…

    Continue ReadingSiga Leyendo
  • MarkSchwarzThumb
    Mark Schwarz - 59 in :59Mark Schwarz 59 en :59

    Mark Schwarz - 59 in :59Mark Schwarz 59 en :59

    Affectionately (if somewhat inaccurately) called “Coach Schwa” by some of his students, most of us know our next “59 in :59” feature as Mark Schwarz,…Cariñosamente (si un poco incorrectamente) llamado "Entrenador Schwa" por algunos de sus alumnos, la mayoría de nosotros conocemos a nuestro próximo personaje de "59 en…

    Continue ReadingSiga Leyendo