2017 Washington Academy
$2500 Mainely Character Scholarship
Gabriel Brady was the youngest person to receive the Maine Department of Public Safety Bravery Award. He was just nine years old when his mother was shot to death by a former boyfriend. He and his siblings heard the commotion as his mother ran down the hallway to protect them. All three children made it into the hall just in time to see the intruder fire his gun at their mother. Another bullet landed in his sister’s foot. Gabriel guided his 6-year-old sister and 5-year-old brother into a bathroom and locked the door. Realizing that Autumn, his sister had been shot in the foot, Gabriel wrapped it up to stop the bleeding. He called for help and kept them hidden until the police arrived.
Brady was separated from his siblings and placed in several foster homes after his mother’s death. He was eventually adopted by his grandmother but has no contact with his brother and sister. Although he has struggled with the emotional aftermath of these events, his efforts to reach out to others helped him fight depression and loneliness. He felt lucky to have good friends.
Gabriel made it his personal responsibility to help other victims of domestic violence. For years, he saved his birthday gifts to donate to the local Next Step Domestic Violence Program. He organized fundraisers in his mother’s name for Next Step. He also volunteered at a summer camp for children who have suffered as he did.
Gabriel enrolled in the University of Maine, Orono, planning to major in nursing or psychology.