It was only a few weeks ago that most of the world was unfamiliar with 23
year old Brandon Scott, a manager for the popular videogame retail store
Gamestop in Dallas, Texas. But when word spread of his unusual criteria for
selling games to customers, the world soon took notice of one man's personal
crusade to put a very real price on the value of education. An
individual's motivations are often key to unlocking the actions that define
him - and ultimately society as a whole.
just wanted to thank you again for taking time to speak with us. It seems
like youíve really been making the rounds in the media lately, which can be
daunting for anyone. How are you holding up?
First I would like to thank you for taking interest in my cause and my story. You are right, the time in the media has been an eye opening experience. I never thought what I was doing would cause so much hoopla. I just wanted to touch the kids and people in my community and let them know that some one cares about our future and want to see our kids do well. I am ok, just at one of those points in your life where you really donít know where to turn. You donít know if you go left it may change your life and others for the good, or if you choose to go the other way how it may turn out.
It isnít every day that we see a story like yours pop up in the media, and judging from the reaction so far, it hasnít gone unnoticed.† Weíre curious to how the reaction has been so far, and was it what you expected?
No it wasnít what I expected at all. I prayed to my Lord and Savior in the shower on Monday to some way be able to touch the younger generation. By Wednesday I am on the news doing interviews and being asked all kinds of questions. For what I hear on the streets and some voting polls on the internet the reaction has mainly been positive. But of course everything in the world that may pop up in the media that is positive you will also have those who are going to be negative, and that is ok because when you have those trying to be negative about what you are doing it lets you know you are doing something right. Sometimes people just donít want change.
Because of their exposure in the media, it often seems that with celebrities we come to feel as though we know them intimately and personally.† For many out there, this is their first exposure to the world of Brandon Scott and just who you are.
Before we go any further, would you mind filling our readers in a bit more about
Well I think of myself as someone that is no different than the next guy that
wishes he had the means and the ability to change something about this world. I
always told myself to break the chain, the reason I said that to myself because
I am a guy that is a victim of a single parent household. Like most African
Americans that came from a house hold like that I had to see my mother work her
butt off to make sure that I had everything to make it in the real world, strong
faith base, education, strength to make it etc. The things my mother showed me
by some of the sacrifices she made for me shaped me into the guy I am today. So
when I break the chain and step up and be a father for my child whenever I have
a child I can raise he or she in a two parent household.
I always have had that
what my wife likes to call the big brother syndrome, trying to take care of
other people before I even worry about myself. I used to get in to fights and
all sorts of trouble fighting bullies for kids that couldnít fight for
themselves. Can you see this small skinny kid fighting people twice his size for
someone he didnít even know. And that part of me has all ways been there. Its
like when you close your eyes when your about to sneeze you canít seem to help
it, thatís how I am when it comes to wanting to help people, especially the kids
that next generation. When I look in the mirror in the morning I see a guy from Dallas that wants to make a difference with
our kids in the community.
So faith plays a strong role in your life, then?
Of course! I really donít think I would be this kind of person, and have gone through this much stuff in my life without the strength of my God. But it was with me from the day I was born I have been told. My mother used to tell me all the time that I would go to sleep with my hands put together like I was praying, and from then on she just knew I was going to be a pastor. My faith gives me answers when I canít find them. As we speak I am going through the hard part of these 15 minutes of fame I have received. Looking for another job, I donít know how I am going to find a better job, but all I know is that my Lord will be with me.
Why put yourself in that role of protector?† Surely you could take an easier path, one that doesnít require such a personal investment in the welfare of others?
You are right, I could take an easier path and not be the kind of person that I am, but then I wouldnít be the kind of person that I am. The role that I take on is so hard to answer for you and for myself Ďcause it is something I canít help. Itís like a drug that I canít get rid of. But by the same token I donít want to get rid of it, for me it makes the connection to another human being just a little bit easier because I try to put myself in there shoes and how would I feel if I were them.
What do you do for those people who say they donít want to be helped?
Then I canít help them. Itís that simple, you canít make a grown person do anything or take anything if they donít want to. I have come across some of those people, so in the end you kind of slowly walk away.
You mentioned growing up in a single-parent household, and how hard your
mother worked to provide for you. Do you feel you gained a sense of
responsibility from her example?
Yes I did. It may have come just a little late but it came. I always felt that I had to do something or become something great just to even come close to what my mom did for me. And now that I am married I find myself doing the same sacrifices for her and for the things she wants to do. And the same goes for my little sister, I find myself getting in trouble with my mother all the time for my sister. But the meat and potatoes of my responsibility I feel like it always goes to the kids. Because there is a kid right now that is coming up just like me, and all they need is that one role model, or that one sports superstar to say something or do something that gives them the same seed to plant within themselves to become another role model.
The reason why I am having this interview any way is because something that I believe in has the potential to change a generation. I have the weight of the world on my shoulder syndrome, I think it is my responsibility to say and stand for the kids to let them know that your grades at that age and for any age is your job, that is your 9 to 5.
In a way, the incident in question all stemmed from videogames in general.† Do you fancy yourself much of a gamer?† Any thoughts on the current state of the gaming industry as it is?
In a way yes this did stem from video games. And I play video games myself as a stress reliever. They can be very therapeutic, but the video game industry doesnít know how they really can use the power that they have to help change a generation. They could use the power of games to help kids improve the grades and their education. The industry is a good industry it has lots of positives in becoming the new sport of the future.
Pretty generic question here, but whatís your favorite game series?
It would definitely be the Madden series hands down. After I did my homework and did a little football playing outside when I was younger, I would go back in the house and play Madden for about 30 minutes to an hour.
So has this whole experience inspired you to continue working in the general direction of social goodwill, in some form or another?† Is there any chance we might be seeing you active in any Big Brothers/Sisters, or another mentoring role in the future?
Yes sir, it has inspired me to continue on doing social goodwill, but the thing is I never stopped. †I always was into social goodwill I just didnít have the media and the world find out about it. Now that it is out there, I hope what I have done has touched another person, and another so that maybe the goodwill towards our younger people doesnít just stop with this situation.
Brandon, itís been quite an honor having this chance to hear you thoughts on things, and I can say from a personal level inspiring.† Nearly everyone Iíve spoken to about your situation agrees with the spirit in which you acted, and that alone is something to be proud of.† Iíll leave any parting words to you, and wish to thank you once again for the opportunity to allow us here at Popzara to showcase your special blend of compassionate concern.† Take it away!
I thank you for giving me this opportunity, and caring for what I have to say. Thanks to those out in the world that has supported the awareness that I tried to bring out. This is something that can go beyond videogames. This is something with the right vehicle could go along way and actually impact, and I really mean impact a generation. African Americans and Hispanics have the highest drop out rate in the U.S. and climbing. Just like I said earlier in my statements about breaking the chain, we can do that now. We as in the community can help our kids by caring about their grades and wanting to seem them succeed.
It doesnít have to be your child, but a friend of the family or a cousin. But letting a child or teen know that you care about what goes on with them, and their education doesnít mean it is a bad thing. It shows something that used to go on in the past, and died out with time. Well it's time for that to come back, and [for] the community step up and support the kids in the road of their education.
Thank You For Reading, and God Bless.