Brooks Minford ’09 was recognized as the 2014 Young Alumnus of the Year on Friday, October 17, during the 24th Annual Alumni and Friends Golf Banquet.  This award is given each year to an alumnus who has graduated within the past fifteen years and has achieved meritorious success.  It’s fair to say that Brooks arrived at Blue Ridge already instilled with several personality traits that would lead to his success here and afterwards.  It’s also fair to say that he became an even better Brooks while here by taking advantage of all that the School offered him.  Fresh out of college, he is already showing his appreciation by giving back to the School. 

Brooks and his family were living in Sun Valley, Idaho, when he arrived on campus as a sophomore.  Sun Valley was a great place to live, but Brooks felt he lost a sense of reality as to what it would take to prepare himself for college.  Blue Ridge proved to be the answer.  First, it was a very friendly atmosphere.  “Many of my peers had been there a year already.  At a school as small as BRS, I knew it could be hard to break in to such a tight-knit group of guys. Much to my surprise, I found Blue Ridge to be one of the most welcoming environments I had ever been in.”

From an academic standpoint, he couldn’t have asked for more passionate teachers who inspired him to feel obligated to do the best he could in the classroom.  His English teacher Gregg Marshall, in particular, made him realize that the status quo wasn’t going to fly.  He challenged Brooks to develop new study habits and to be more involved in class discussions.  Brooks also credits John Young, Matt Bennett, Paul Fehlner and Jo McKeown for helping him develop new approaches to being successful in the classroom and preparing for exams. 

“My freshman year at High Point University in North Carolina honestly was one of the smoothest transitions and most successful years academically I’ve ever had.”  Brooks graduated in 2013 with a Business Degree (majored in Business Administration and minored in Entrepreneurship and Finance).  Yes, he finished where he started, and he did it in four years. 

Brooks currently lives in Miami, Florida, where he works for Marcus & Millichap, a commercial real estate firm based in Calabasas, California.  The company specializes in sales of investment commercial real estate nationwide.  Brooks’ specific responsibilities involve senior housing and medical facilities.  “Because my direct boss is based in San Francisco, I am often making business decisions for clients or our sales team based on my own judgment.  I learned to have confidence in my own judgment while serving as a prefect and on the Disciplinary Committee at Blue Ridge.”  Brooks adds that the School gave him the personal tools and the confidence to meet personal goals, make deadlines and accomplish objectives, all of which have helped him find early success in his career.