Brandee M. Izquierdo
graduate government and public policy student
Hometown: Baltimore, MD
High School: Woodlawn High School
I am grit.
I am a person of long-term recovery.
I am passion.
UB is something that makes me who I am. I am a person who is in long-term recovery from substance use and mental health challenges. I’ve come through a lot of struggles where I’ve been able to lift myself up. However, in lifting myself up, UB has been that foundation for me to do that. I see myself as someone who is resilient, strong and can empower others. I am passionate about the work I do. My passion comes from wanting to help others and wanting to help the public health system see their strengths and opportunities. As a person in long-term recovery, I have been through the public health system. Therefore, I have seen the failures that the system holds.
The one thing I want people to know about me is that I am not afraid to speak out about recovery.
When I started my educational career I started in social work, but I soon discovered that not only was I passionate about helping people but I also wanted to make change at the policy level. This inspired me to go back to school and study government and public policy. My goal is to be at the table talking about policy improvements and how health care policies affect people differently. We cannot make change on a macro level unless we are at the table.
The one thing I want people to know about me is that I am not afraid to speak out about recovery. People are dying! When I look at our city we have to step up to the plate, speak out and make a difference. I am learning to take care of myself and take time to step back and breathe. I realize that I have become so busy living in the future that I forget to live in the moment. There is not really much I fear … this goes back to my recovery. Fear is the enemy to many people, but I welcome it because what I fear is not being teachable. Fear keeps me in a place of humility. I take on life with its successes and failures. If you can take all of that and learn to appreciate all that life gives you, fear is no longer the enemy.