A Louisiana native through and through , there’s no doubt Brandan Bonds is a rising star. Upon graduating from the University of New Orleans, where he served as student body president, Bonds earned a scholarship to Loyola University New Orleans College of Law where he serves as editor-in-chief of the Loyola Journal of Public Interest Law, interned for the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, currently works for the City of New Orleans District Attorney’s Office and is on his way to a successful career in civil rights law.
With all this momentum, Bonds attributes much of his success to Lambda Chi Alpha.
From a young age, Bonds knew he wanted to be a leader. Even as a child, he was quick on his feet, eloquent and had a passion for helping people. So, when Bonds enrolled at the University of New Orleans, he quickly engaged with the university’s student government and made friends with student leaders. From these new relationships, he noticed that many of these leaders were Lambda Chi Brothers. Prior to attending the university, Bonds was unfamiliar with fraternities in general and did not plan on joining one. However, as began to spend time with some of the highest-achieving students on campus, he knew he had to join Lambda Chi.
“Lambda Chi Alpha men were leaders,” said Bonds. “That stood out to me and it made the decision easier for me to join the chapter.”
Bonds’ Big Brother with Lambda Chi was the university’s student body president. In his senior year, Bonds campaigned for student body president himself and won.
After graduation, Bonds decided to continue leading and mentoring others by working as an Educational Leadership Consultant (ELC) for the Fraternity. At the time, ELCs were tasked with traveling to different chapters across the nation, assisting with chapter operations, recruitment and fraternity education. As a young professional, the experience of traveling to different chapters by himself and meeting various challenges along the way fostered independence and a sense of leadership and responsibility in Bonds.
“Sitting down in fraternity houses, having meals with the guys and getting to know them was by far the best experience I’ve ever had,” said Bonds. “You can’t put a price on a learning experience like that.”
As an ELC, Bonds created long-lasting relationships with many Lambda Chi men he met in his travels.
“One of the best things I was able to do in my time working for Lambda Chi was meeting guys as first semester freshmen and working with them up until they graduated,” said Bonds. “I still keep in touch with many of them, and it’s great to see them thriving in their career and know I played a part in that process.”
During his time as an ELC, Bonds was inspired to take his leadership responsibilities and career goals to another level. He sought advice from a few Lambda Chi alumni working as lawyers and through their mentorship decided to apply to law school.
After a rigorous application process, Bonds was awarded a scholarship to Loyola University New Orleans College of Law and is now in his third year. Today, Bonds maintains a strong interest in helping marginalized people and those experiencing issues with police accountability.
Throughout his journey, Bonds continues to stay in touch with his Lambda Chi mentees and Brothers. Bonds serves on Lambda Chi’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Advisory Committee at a national level. He also serves as a facilitator for the Fraternity’s certification program, serves as an ad hoc advisor to local chapters and provides suicide prevention and crisis intervention counseling to LGBTQ youth across the U.S. for The Trevor Project.
“I’m helping to pay it forward,” Bonds said. “I credit all of my success to Lambda Chi Alpha. If it wasn’t for Lambda Chi, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
“My advice to aspiring young professionals would be to find a mentor or even multiple mentors, meet people who work outside of your interests and network where you can.”