Brandon Sanders steps into new counseling role, adjusts to the rhythm of Masters


Photo courtesy of Brandon Sanders

Brandon Sanders recently joined the Masters community, becoming the third member of the counseling team in the Health Center alongside Lydia Whitney and Stefanie Carbone. Along with social work, Sanders also has a passion for jazz music and basketball.

Carol Queiroz, TBN Executive Producer

The Masters staff has just expanded with the addition of Brandon Sanders, a professional social worker who is taking on the job of part-time counselor in the Health Center. Originally from Los Angeles, Calif., Sanders got both his bachelor’s degree in communications and his master’s degree in social work at Kansas University, plus an additional diploma in Music Studies from Berklee College of Music. Apart from his social work, Sanders is also an avid jazz musician who plays the drums and performs regularly at various New York venues. He also holds a love for basketball, and was a walk-on for his college basketball team when he attended Kansas University, and is now an additional coach for the Masters Boys Junior Varsity 2 basketball team. 

Ever since he was young, Sanders said he knew he wanted a career where he worked with kids. 

“I grew up in the Boys and Girls Club atmosphere in Los Angeles. I became a social worker because I like working with kids and teenagers. And when I was a kid, there was a social worker that they had at the Boys and Girls Club, her name was Mrs. Jones, and she was a huge influence on me. I looked at the work she did and thought ‘Man, I want to do this too!’ So now, I’ve been working with kids and young adults since the late 90’s,” Sanders said.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, student demand for counseling has increased exponentially, creating necessity for an additional counselor.  Counselor Stefanie Carbone elaborated on the need for more help at the Counseling Center. 

“Now with Covid, we are seeing so many students daily; a lot of the students accessing the Counseling Center are even self-referred because they find it helpful. So we see a lot of kids, but we just haven’t been able to keep up with the volume.” Carbone said. “The addition of Mr. Sanders to our team has definitely been helpful. Whenever Ms. Whitney or I are with another student or teaching a class, Mr. Sanders is right there and available: he really has been able to help absorb the need.” 

Before Sanders was hired for the job, he was interviewed by a panel of students with interests in mental health chosen by Dean of Students Jeff Carnavale as part of the hiring process. One of those students was senior Danny Batista, who recalls her first impressions of Sanders from the panel.

“He was funny, he was very open to meeting with us [the students] on a more personal level and he was very friendly. There was a very professional student-teacher dynamic, but he was still very friendly and I felt comfortable around him.” she said. “I think he’s a great fit for Masters. Specifically, as a student of color, I think I would feel more comfortable talking to him about problems that people of color face. Because he would be able to relate to us from personal experience.”

Carbone agreed with Batista’s statements. She said, “I thought he would be a great fit. I thought the kids would be able to relate to him really well, I liked his kindness, his professionalism and his desire to be a part of this community. He is extremely excited to be a part of this community. And we’re excited to have him.”

“I love this school. The students are great, the faculty I’ve met so far are great and the atmosphere is uplifting and positive. I love the energy that the students are giving to me and I want to be able to give something back to them. I really look forward to connecting with the students here and making them feel comfortable around me to share what is on their hearts and minds,” Sanders said.