Spotlight of Brandan Persaud

 

This World AIDS Day, SMYAL is happy to spotlight Brandan Persaud, our Peer Education Coordinator and Research Fellow. Brandan intially started working for SMYAL as an intern as a part of his Capstone project and his work was so amazing we brought him on part-time as Peer Education Coordinator. When we secured the IMPACT DMV HIV grant, Brandan was a natural fit to come on full time. 

Learn a little about Brandan below!

Why did you choose SMYAL?

I was introduced to SMYAL by a professor and mentor last January as a potential community partner for my Capstone project. When I met with my now-supervisor, I was inspired to see if I could intern with SMYAL while doing my capstone project work. One thing led to another and when the semester was over, I did not want to leave! I asked if I could be kept on throughout the summer as a part-time staff member. Then, with staff changes, I figured I would ask if I could be kept on in a more permanent position. Now, I am the Peer Education Coordinator and Research Fellow. I absolutely love what I do with both LGBTQ+ youth and adult allies, in and out of the classroom. 

What is your role as Peer Education Coordinator?

As the Peer Education Coordinator, I work to create and maintain relationships with schools and community-based organizations in the DMV. It is heartwarming to know that there are adults in these schools that identify the need to support their LGBTQ+ students and then initiate conversation with us at SMYAL so we can assist in what ever way in order to meet those needs. 

What is your role as a Research Fellow?

As a research fellow, I work on the IMPACT-DMV grant SMYAL was given by the DC Department of Health. I meet with clients once a month through September 2018 and collect data on the services they have sought out in the DMV and provide referrals to services they are interested in receiving. Some of the services we screen for include HIV testing, mental health, social services, and PrEP.

What is your favorite TV show?

My favorite TV show is Grey's Anatomy. When I was younger, it made me think I wanted to be a surgeon, but when I actually started taking science classes, I dreaded them. 

What do you do when you're not at work?

When I am not at work, I can be found on campus at American University finishing my last year there or at your local Starbucks making friends with the baristas and people watching!  

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