At the age of nineteen, college sophomore, double major, double minor, Amanda or Mandii Braun heads to meeting with politician, Jeff Brand. For her, this is a normal Tuesday afternoon.
Braun grew up in the suburbs of the Twin Cities. Coming from Bloomington Minn. Bruan hadn’t thought she would achieve her dream of being highly active in the political world.
Her freshman year of high school she along with sixty different girls from forty different countries attended an international leadership camp in New York for seven weeks.
Upon her return, Braun realized she could not go about as normal with all the information and knowledge she had gained.
“Once I started digging through that, I started noticing the cracks, and once you notice those you can’t really go back. If there aren’t other people doing that then I guess that means I have to,” Braun says.
“If there is no one else fixing it then I guess that means I have to because if you want something done you do it. I wish that wasn’t the case but I hope one day I can change that.”
She wants to someday be running for president. Her goal started off as a high school joke.
However, it turned into the ultimate goal. Braun, as a strong human right activist, hopes to spread a message of comfort for all regardless of the differences from the norm.
Braun was involved with Erin Murphy’s campaign against Tim Walz for governor.
Unfortunately, Murphy did not make it passed the primaries but Braun still takes inspiration from Murphy. Murphy’s idea of “politics of joy.” This idea really spoke to Braun and further fed her flame.
“I hope to make the difference in people’s lives like people in my life have done for me” Braun said. “I’m hoping to pass on support, community and love to people who don’t otherwise have it. I hope that one day I will be a part of a system that does that.”
This is something she says will take hard work and perseverance. Settling is never the answer.
She believes differences should be embraced rather then suppressed. She’s always working toward the acceptance and support of differences. She embraces not fitting into the status quo.
“Why does everyone what to be the same person? I think diversity and difference is one of the most beautiful things that we can have.”
—Sophomore Mandii Braun
Gustavus Adolphus College offers a large number of student led organizations a list of over one hundred activities and clubs. That is one of the reasons Braun chose to attend Gustavus.
She says the welcoming atmosphere of the college reminded her of camp in New York.
Braun will be double majoring in Political Science and Women Studies as well as minoring in Peace Justice Conflict and dance.
She is also involved in Building Bridges and she is the Co- President of the Women’s Action Coalition (WAC) here on campus.
Through these activities students have the opportunity to be involved or as Braun says, to find a place where they belong and not just be one type of person. She says that is where her dance minor comes into play.
She also highly encourages her students to give her advice on how to improve.
“I’m hoping to pass on support, community and love to people who don’t otherwise have it. I hope that one day I will be a part of a system that does that.”
-Sophomore Mandii Braun
Braun wants to continue being a resource for people and desires to be an involved and informed person to make the make the mark she wants to leave on her community, her country, and her generation of political activists.