My Mom, Joan Brannigan is a person who leads by example. She is always reading and learning something new. She has the heart of an activist and will not remain silent in the face of injustice. She volunteers her time for many organizations and will offer help whenever she can. As a child, our family hosted several foreign exchange students over the years, mainly at my mom’s urging.
One of those students was Jehu Chesson from Liberia who stayed with us for the 1981-1982 school year. He became a big brother to my sister and I, as we were both in elementary school at the time. Several years after his time in the US, civil war broke out in Liberia. My mom (easily) persuaded our family to open our home so Jehu could come live with us once again.
He finished college and business school in the US, got a work visa, and became an executive in Mastercard International. In time, he was able to bring his wife to the US, too, and she became like family as well. They bought a house and established a new life in the US. They are now both US Citizens with two sons in their 20s. Our family is bigger and happier with the Chesson’s here. The way my mother supported the Chesson family says so much about my mom, as well as the kind of person I strive to be.
Council Chair & District 6 Councilwoman
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