By Rebecca Renshaw
Brandon Peters, SIU freshman and recipient of the Don and Edith Braden scholarship award, graduated from Hamilton County High School in 2020 and is pursuing a degree in aviation management from SIU.
“I was accepted into other universities, such as Purdue and Western Michigan, but SIU just fit me better,” he said. “Plus, it is closer to my family. I also chose SIU because its aviation program is also one of the top programs in the nation.”
Peters recently spoke to his scholarship donor via a conference call and thanked him for the scholarship.
“It costs quite a bit to go to the aviation program, and I told Mr. Braden how thankful I was for his help. So many students here have significant financial debt, and I wanted him to know that with his help. I will graduate with minimal debt,” he said. “I am thankful for people like Mr. Braden who lend a helping hand to students like me.”
Peters also comes from Braden’s parents’ hometown.
“I played as a point guard for Hamilton County High School’s basketball team for all four years. I was fortunate enough to win the Jerry Sloan Award last year, and Mr. Braden actually knew Jerry Sloan (Hall of Fame NBA coach), so we had that shared connection,” he said.
Peters hopes to become a certified flight instructor and someday teach at SIU. Once he accumulates enough hours, he plans to become a commercial airline pilot.