Mercer student uses stage to help women in recovery
Published 3:11 pm Wednesday, April 26, 2023
Braydon Branam, a 15-year-old freshman at Mercer County Senior High School, is making his theater debut by starring in the role of “Sonny” in the school’s ongoing production of Grease. He is also the son of a person in long-term recovery. So, when the opportunity arose to invite community members for a dress rehearsal, the teen invited women in treatment at Isaiah House.
“I decided to invite the Isaiah House women to come to enjoy our play,” said Braydon. “Since they’re our neighbors and next to the school I thought it would be cool to invite them over.”
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Isaiah House, which has provided life-changing addiction treatment services since 1999, has two women’s facilities located near MCSHS in Harrodsburg; Lisa Walker Center, located 5.3 miles away, and the Shelley Center which neighbors the school on Industry Road.
The women from Lisa Walker Center and Shelley Center had the opportunity to attend the production’s opening dress rehearsal on Monday night. The experience left many of the women inspired to do all they can to achieve long-term success in recovery.
“Hearing some of the things as the girls came out to meet the characters was so cool,” said Braydon. “There was one lady who said she wanted to stay clean so that she could have these memories with her kids.”
Deep down, Braydon’s decision to invite the women of Isaiah House to attend the show was rooted in his personal experiences of his mom’s battle with addiction and her recovery journey.
Amy Branam, Braydon’s mother, entered Isaiah House’s program in 2021 after a long bout with alcoholism. She completed the residential program and is now the receptionist for Isaiah House’s corporate offices. More importantly, she’s now able to be present in the lives of her family.
Amy was able to see her son’s performance on Wednesday as the cast performed the play for their MCSHS peers.
“For the longest time I didn’t really think that stuff like this would happen with her (Amy) being here and fully present,” said Braydon. “But this is really cool.”
“I didn’t know what I was missing out on,” added Amy. “I was so absent from my mind, from my family, from everything, and so to now be present and able to enjoy it and remember it is so exciting and it just makes me so proud to be here.”
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, women face more difficulty when seeking help for substance use disorder due to social and legal fears. Many times, those fears may be the lack of childcare and that they simply cannot leave their children.
Isaiah House employs a team of client care navigators across the state to help women navigate the stresses and help find solutions for those who may be hesitant about leaving their families to come to treatment.
“28 days (of treatment) is nothing when it comes to a lifetime of joy and time with my family,” said Branam. “The ability to see my kids meet milestones and do cool things made those 28 days so worth it. It saved my life, and it saved our family.”
Starting Friday at 7:00 pm, Mercer County Senior High School’s drama club will bring its production of Grease to the stage for the public. The students will perform shows at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm on Saturday and wrap up with a matinee showing on Sunday at 2:00 pm. To support Braydon and his MCSHS drama classmates, visit mcsh.mercer.kyschools.us to purchase tickets.
For more information about Isaiah House and its programs, visit Isaiah-House.org or call the admissions team at 859-875-9200.