Brandon Washington ’26 Receives SPARK Award for Advocating for Youth in Foster Care

head and shoulder image of Brandon Washington

Brandon Washington ’26, who is majoring in Russian and international studies, is the recipient of a SPARK Award which honors an individual who is “igniting change and making a positive impact in the Greater Memphis community.”

The 10th Annual SPARK Awards, which is a co-production of WKNO/PBS television station and city CURRENT,  premiered Dec. 11 on WKNO.  Individuals, nonprofits, corporations, and schools in 13 different categories were honored.

At the age of 15, Washington entered the foster care system, and his experiences have led him to become an advocate for youth who are aging out of foster care and need housing, life skill classes, and other support to achieve their goals.

After graduating from Middle College High School in Memphis, Washington came to Rhodes on a Posse Foundation leadership scholarship. He serves as director of communication for Tennessee College Democrats and was a candidate in 2023 for the Memphis City Council Super District 9, position 2.

Washington also has spoken with local, state, and national decision-makers about pressing issues that impact youth and ways to improve the foster care system. In the summer of 2023, he worked with the development team at Youth Villages, which provides services for children and young people who face emotional, mental, and behavioral problems.

View Washington speak about his work.