Bradford stays true to her roots

FAMU cheerleader Symone Bango, left and Applemania Bradford during FAMU’s homecoming game.
Photo courtesy Bradford

Applemania Bradford believes in giving back to her alma mater.

Bradford recently handed out a $300 award from her FAMUForever scholarship program. The award was presented during homecoming weekend to student-athlete Symone Bango, a member of the cheerleading team.

Bradford said she plans on continuing her legacy of giving back to FAMU students and more for years to come. During the fall of 2016  Bradford was inspired to start a nonprofit organization called Teacher BAE  (balance and educated) Inc. Teacher BAE aims to unify teachers globally, empower teachers outside of the classroom, and to help new educators balance their career and life in general.

Bradford, an Atlanta resident, said self-care awareness is also a priority of her organization and is something that she focuses on while helping young ladies through their newly found career.

“Me and some of my teacher friends which are now referred to as teacher BAEs would take these trips during our fall breaks and spring breaks to unwind,let our hair down, and be in a comfortable safe place where we can collaborate outside of the traditional brick and mortar setting. I would plan these trips to bond and cultivate relationships with each other and focus on our self care,” she said.

Although Bradford would plan trips in an effort to cultivate new relationships, she also would volunteer in different communities that she visited.

“We went to L.A. one fall break and did a community project for the workers in low socioeconomic areas. They were developing areas for students in the lower socioeconomic class, so we did a luncheon for them and  that’s what pretty much started Teacher BAE Inc,” Bradford said.

There are four pillars of Teacher BAE expressed with the acronym MUAH, which stands for mentorship to working teachers, unifying and bringing unity among teachers, awareness to self and self care, and helping communities thrive. Bradford, a 2008 graduate of FAMU, said that her new organization focuses on first through third year teachers. However, she plans on doing more for FAMU education students and to build a support system.

Bradford’s friend, Altricia Wilcox, knows how important these projects are for Bradford.

“FAMU has always been part of (Applemania’s) roots,” she said. “She also has implemented and HBCU day at ane elementyary school that she taught at where she educates the kids on HBCUs. A lot of her fellow FAMUans have come to support that endevaor, which is amazing.”

Bradford has a scholarship program called FAMU forever. It is a book scholarship that she started this year in addition to Teacher BAE. Being that Bradford is both a Former college education student and cheerleader, her scholarship will be applied to students in those academic and athletic fields. “Florida A&M University was a part of my foundation, it poured so much into me and as a cheerleader during the 2005-2007 school years It helped me be the successful woman that I am today; It taught me responsibility, it held me accountable, and taught me a lot of other life skills.”

Bradford added, “This is just a movement that I pray continues to be a wave throughout  the rest of the years not only for me as an alumni cheerleader, but it sets the tone for other alumni cheerleaders to give back and pour into our own university.”

For self care tips and inspiration Bradford invites you to visit her social media account @TeacherBAEInc on facebook and instagram.