Mr. Brawley

Mr. Brawley

Zachary Sousa, Contributor

Teacher name: Mr. Brawley  

Teacher background: 

Mr. Brawley attended Providence College and majored in history and minored in theology. During this time he also studied in Ireland for his history major. Currently he is a freshman and eighth grade theology teacher.  

The following is taken from Zachary Sousa’s profile about Mr. Brawley entitled “The Missionary Teacher” 

Teaching and traveling have always been a very important part of Mr. Brawley’s life. He has always felt the need to help the less fortunate around the world and believes that his love of teaching can bring happiness to his students. He has traveled to places like Kenya, Africa and Mexico City, Mexico. On these trips he would help out where he was needed, but found that teaching felt the most fulfilling for him. During all of his trips he would always try to help people out, not just teaching them, but dedicating his time and effort to help in any way necessary. 

Mr. Brawley has always loved teaching, and he has done it around the world in many countries. This is not always an easy task because in many of the countries he has visited the people speak a different language than he does. Obviously sometimes he did not know what the students were saying if they spoke out but he would try his best to understand.

In 2011, Mr. Brawley decided with four other people they would travel to Kenya, Africa for a six-week mission trip. He decided he would help a local orphanage and school run by the Dominicans, the same religious order that runs Providence College.  He wanted to teach the children how to play music. Over his time there, he would teach the students how to play the guitar and how to respond to the Mass in English. After his six week mission, Mr. Brawley left his guitar there. After he was gone, they would still be able to play and pass down the music to the next generation of kids.

One challenge he faced was when they would do activities outside the class room, like kickball. As Americans we grew up playing this game, so we would know the basic rules of the game. The kids he was teaching did not grow up learning this, so they did not know how to play. Unfortunately the language barrier stopped them from teaching the students how to play, so they played soccer with the students instead.  

Also in Kenya, Mr. Brawley visited an orphanage for abandoned children from the nearby villages. His most memorable moment there was when he was playing guitar for the children and all of them fell asleep. Unfortunately for the children they would have to be woken up or they would not fall asleep later that night. Although this was eye opening, Mr. Brawley enjoyed his time at the school more than at the orphanage because he found it difficult to witness the devastating struggle of the children.  

His next journey would take him to Mexico City, Mexico to help the elderly in a “nursing home.” This was not a traditional nursing home as Americans know, but rather a concrete room with cots lined up with minimal running water. For one week Mr. Brawley had to clean, bathe, and perform other miscellaneous tasks for the elderly. These conditions were terrible because either during the night the elderly could not get up to go to the bathroom or the toilets would stop working. Obviously this trip consisted of more dirty jobs then his last mission in Kenya. All of Mr. Brawley’s trips changed him dramatically and made him the man he is today; without them he would not be the same.  

On behalf of the Bishop Hendricken, we welcome Mr. Brawley into our community. Maybe one day he will go on a mission trip with our students to help more people in need.