Brady O’Neel’s Story

By Brady O’Neel

Brady O’Neel was born in Robbinsdale, Minnesota at North Memorial Hospital on March 7th, 1990. He was born to Brenda Burke and Randolph Johnson at 1:38 A.M. During the first few months of his life Brady was dealing with respiratory problems. He was hospitalized 7 times in the first 7 months of his life. Brady O’Neel has been through a lot in his life like having pneumonia and a feeding tube. During the duration of his life Brady was taken away from his birth family and placed into foster care. In foster care, Brady was physically and sexually abused by his foster Mom and sister. He was only 3 or 4.

At the age of 7, his adopted parents Tom and Diane O’Neel from Buffalo, MN adopted him. It was a hard transition from foster care to being adopted. In his adopted home Brady had a total of 17 siblings. He was also raised on a farm where he knew he had to do some labor. Brady went to a school called West Lutheran High School where he was active on many sports teams like soccer, basketball, baseball and track. He also did some manager work with the school, too. Brady was known as the most outstanding manager for track and basketball and went out of his way to express gratitude toward others. After high school, Brady went to Hennepin Tech for Child Development, but after one semester he had to drop out of college because of financial difficulties.

In December of 2009, Brady became homeless during the worst part of winter. He was living in his car and sleeping at work in the break room at work. Brady then decided to pay one of his friends so that he could stay with him until he got his own place. In March of 2010, his adopted mom and dad made him come home. In Feburary of 2011, Brady found a place of his own and moved out of his parents house and he struggled really bad. He lost his place of living and started sleeping at his work in the break room on a piece of foam. He lived that way for a few months before he moved in with another friend of his in Minneapolis, MN.

In December of 2011, Brady was forced to leave his friends house and he became homeless once again. He moved to the Union Gospel Mission in Saint Paul and stayed there for a year while struggling to pay for a bed. After staying there Brady moved out and lived with his friend in Saint Paul. He helped out at his church and was very productive. In August of 2013, Brady started school at Minneapolis Community and Technical College. He was getting his degree in Web Design and Interactive Media. During the fall of 2013, Brady became the Public Relations for the Student African American Brotherhood program which is now known as the African American Education Empowerment Program. Then in the fall of 2014, Brady became an active member for the Students Against Hunger and Homelessness. Brady decided to become an active member for SAHH because he wanted to help other homeless students at MCTC because he experienced it himself so he wants to give back to his community and school.

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