NRHS student appointed National Ambassador

Published 10:10 pm Thursday, August 10, 2017

A Suffolk high school student is being recognized for his academic determination and drive to help others.

Nansemond River High School senior Brandon Eley was named one of the 2017-2018 National Beta Leadership Ambassadors during the Leadership Conference held in Washington, D.C., in July. The 17-year-old is among just 10 of the 96 members at the conference to receive this distinction.

Eley was quick to praise God for this opportunity. He quoted Colossians 3:23: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.”

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“It’s a blessing,” Eley said. “I’m in belief that when you position God as the head of your life, everything else falls into place.”

Honorees are chosen because they demonstrate leadership through teamwork and inspiring their peers. Eley has practiced this since his freshman year as a drum major of his school’s marching band. He leads his band’s performance by directing his bandmates with gestures of his drum mace.

“I like that I’m in a position where I can help guide people in the right direction, keep them focused and keep them motivated,” Eley said.

Eley’s first role in his new position will include a presentation to sponsors and educators that oversee activities during the National Beta Infuse2.0 Educator Conference in Atlanta, Ga., this September.

He said he was grateful for this opportunity, and for all the others he has received thus far, including the state conventions that further his academic pursuits.

“When you see different kids from all across the state doing what you’re doing, you strive to do your best,” Eley said.

He is also part of Project Lead the Way, a four-year engineering program that will culminate with a senior project this year. This will be another chance for the high school student to lead by his own example.

“Part of being a leader is setting an example,” Eley said. “By doing my best, I try to inspire others to do their best.”

He recalled volunteering with the Suffolk Sheriff’s Office last December with other students for a children’s toy drive around the holidays. That experience showed him how to make an impact in his own community.

“It let me know that if you want change in your place, you can start that change,” Eley said.

He is considering University of Virginia and several other colleges after he graduates. He admitted that he was unsure of his major, but he does know what he would enjoy.

“My career could be just as a medium to helping people,” Eley said. “What I enjoy is helping people.”