Brandon Wiley graduated from Gannon University in 2010 with his bachelor’s degree in Psychology, but he didn’t stop there. He furthered his education at Gannon and in 2013 earned his Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. While at Gannon he participated in many different activities with the Psychology and Sports and Exercise Science Departments. He was an active member of Delta Sigma Phi, Campus Ministry and the Student Government Association. The Gannon experience offered so many great memories which Brandon will forever cherish. He states that “the University as a whole gave me the opportunity to be exposed to so many different things and provided lifelong friendships.”
Brandon believes that Gannon gave him the confidence that he has today. The faculty and staff challenged him to reach his full potential by encouraging him to step out of his comfort zone and tackle obstacles that crossed his path. Brandon is a Primary Care Mental Health Clinician at the Erie VA Medical Center where he conducts mental health assessments for the hospital’s physicians. He also performs psychotherapy by addressing an array of mental health concerns with United States Veterans such as anxiety, depression and PTSD. Brandon is a member of the American Counseling Association, a Nationally Certified Counselor and was recently selected as one of Erie Readers “40 under 40” in 2016.
In addition to working at the VA Medical Center, he is also the Executive Director and Founder of a local non-profit organization, OpenedEyes, which is designed to increase diversity awareness, cultural unity and positive identity for children, adolescents and adults. Brandon travels throughout Erie Country visiting local schools and organizations advocating for those who struggle with identity crisis. He shares his story about struggles he has faced with his racial background and how he credits Gannon University for making a positive impact on his life.
Throughout the struggles and some of the hardest times Brandon faced he is thankful for the support of his parents and family. They encouraged him to rise above those struggles and continue to push forward with his goals and dreams. Brandon resides in Erie and hopes that his non-profit organization will grow beyond Erie County. With the support of his family and the foundation he received from Gannon, he knows he can achieve this goal. He has a wealth of advice to pass onto others, but most importantly he wants to share, “Remember this, self-reflection is the first best practice to change. You must first ask yourself this question: Are you a part of the problem or a part of the solution?"
(published March 2017)