Brian Earley has almost no recollection of his mother…she left when he was a child. “She dropped me and my brother off at a foster home,” he says.
After a stint in foster care, Brian’s father was able to regain custody of him. He never saw his brother again. Though he was back with family, the peace was short-lived living in the presence of an abusive half-brother and an alcoholic father. Before his 14th birthday, Brian would endure both physical and sexual abuse…as well as the death of his father.
After the passing of his father, Brian was sent to live with his grandmother. This meant a new school, with a new group of bullies. While there, he met a girl named Brandy. Her kind words would change his life forever. The two became friends and Brandy’s parents became the family that he never had. In reflection, Brian says, “Her family took me in…came to all my ball games.” Though the chaos didn’t immediately go away, it became easier to deal with. As he puts it, “I had a friend. For the first time in my life, someone cared.”
After the passing of his grandmother, Brian would spend 4 years in the US Navy, get married, and have a daughter before his past would catch up to him. Reflecting on the difficult time, he says, “I started thinking about how the world would just be better off without me.” After a close brush with suicide, a counselor spoke into Brian’s life explaining how the scars from his past could provide hope for others who had been through similar trials.
Taking full advantage of his counselor’s advice, Brian founded Think2Change in 2010 and has been speaking to students across the southeast about his struggles with abuse, depression, and suicide – empowering them to be the power of one in the lives of others. He now lives in Nashville, TN with his wife, Anetra, and daughter, Alyssa.