Adam Brake, a member of the Westminster College Mesa inaugural class, recently wrote a letter to the mayor of Mesa, AZ to express his support for the city's higher education and economic development initiatives. Bringing liberal arts colleges like Westminster to Mesa has afforded him an opportunity he never thought possible. Read Adam's letter to learn more about how Westminster will help him shape his dreams and give back to a city he loves.
My name is Adam Brake. I am twenty-two years old and have lived in Mesa for fifteen years of my life. I am a Westwood High School graduate (Class of 2009). I am writing this letter to thank you for what you have done for the city of Mesa.
The introduction of the light rail extension, the Cubs stadium, and all the various cuts, changes, and improvements you have made are incredible! I love to see Mesa on the upswing, and I would love nothing more than to see Mesa become a significant 'game-changer' of a city in not only the Phoenix metropolitan area, but the whole country. This brings me to the contribution that I am most grateful for, the addition of liberal-arts schools to the city.
I love Mesa, I believe that is apparent. One week ago, I was enrolled at Mesa Community College on plan to attend ASU after a few semesters. It seemed fine and dandy, but there was really no joy when I would think of school. I was being herded through a crowded community college to disappear in the crowd of ASU students that is over 70,000 strong. There was no appeal to feeling like I am not doing something important, or part of something bigger. Although these are great institutions, the idea of disappearing in the system was painful. Last week, we received word of an open house for a college called Westminster that I had never heard of. My wife and I being newly married and with not a lot of spending money, heard there would be free t-shirts. We were there in a heart-beat! I had no idea that this open house was the start of something big.
As I toured the campus, I was amazed at how it felt, at the sense of family that was there, at the intimate setting where real learning would happen. I had a feeling that any student who would walk those halls would not simply be listening to a lecture, but would be receiving knowledge in an interactive way. I talked to the school officials about financial aid and scholarships. Before you knew it, I was submitting my information to the school, filling out FAFSA forms, and researching. I researched high and low, looking at list after list of colleges. I was shocked to find out that Westminster actually ranked higher on the Forbes 2012 list of Best Colleges than ASU. After much thought, I came to the conclusion that they were both good options for me. I had a difficult decision to make.
I thought about Mesa. I have always been one to talk about how Mesa is making a come-back. Some friends of mine even call me crazy. My wife and I have all intentions of making a good living so someday we can come back to Mesa to invest in the city. My dream is to eventually own a little fine arts movie theater on Main Street in downtown Mesa. This sense of duty towards Mesa made me realize that it was time to put my money where my mouth is. I immediately decided Westminster was where I needed to be.
So many people talk about how they want to see Mesa become something special. Many people will talk about it, but few will do something. I want to do something for Mesa. That is why I chose Westminster. I want to thank you for bringing me that option, and I want you to know although at times there are things that you do that you may not think makes a difference, they really do.
I want to help you. I want others to know that they need to act. I want to tell people about how great Westminster and the other colleges here are, and how incredible Mesa can be if we just make it incredible! I plan on being part of Student Government at Westminster, and being very active in the community. What else can I do? I am talking grass-roots, get out in the streets, and talk to everyone kind of thing. Please, just let me know if there is anything I can do for Mesa.
Thank you so much for your service, you and all local government is truly appreciated. Let me know where I can help.
Adam K. Brake
To learn more about Westminster College at Mesa, visit the website or follow us on Facebook at Westminster College Mesa and Twitter at @westminstermesa.