Brother-sister team considered pillars of Bennion Center

U students Brandon and Jeana Lee are usedto being judged by their physical appearance.Despite being born and raised in Utah, Jeanasaid their Korean features lead people to believethey are from a foreign country.”We are always having people come up to usand ask where we are from just because of ourAsian heritage,” Jeana said. “We’ve been hereour whole lives.”Brandon and Jeana said being identified bytheir physical appearance is a constant problem.Once while on a date at a local restaurant,a person approached Brandon and wanted toknow if he spoke Chinese.”I told him over and over again that I didn’tspeak Chinese,” he said. “Then the guy askedme if I knew anyone from China, and I was like,’No, I’m eating lunch. Please leave.'”Jeana and Brandon agree that people shouldview them based on what they devote theirtime to, and not what they look like.Heavily involved in service and other extracurricularactivities, Brandon and Jeana arededicated to their causes.While Brandon plants trees, Jeana spendsSpring and Fall Breaks volunteering on aAmerican Indian reservation.”We both volunteer at the Bennion CommunityService Center, but we do totally differentthings,” Jeana said.As Program Director for The People Connection,Jeana encourages students to spendvacation time volunteering at the Navajo IndianReservation south of Lake Powell.”It’s an alternative way for students to spendtheir break,” she said.Students shear sheep, patch rooftops, andperform many other day-to-day tasks as partof the connection trip located in the NavajoMountain Community, Jeana said.”Many of the families in that region live inpoverty,” she said. “It really helps them out tohave extra hands, even if it is usually for onlyone week.”Jeana said Brandon is more involved in theenvironmental programs of the center.”The center is a big part of our lives,” Jeanasaid. “It is who we are.”Brandon said his work at thecenter began three years agobecause of a certain girl.”Let’s just say the girl andI are quite good friends,” hesaid.Since then, Brandon has becomea Program Director andEnvironmental Coordinator.”I try and help provide supportfor the students in chargeof the many programs at thecenter,” he said.James Bradley, a fellow vol -unteer, said Jeana and Brandonare dedicated to the BennionCenter, spending mostfree time thinking up ways tomake programs better.”They are basically alwayshere if they don’t hav e class,”he said. “They are solid pillarsin the Bennion Center.”Bradley said no one couldreplace Brandon and Jeana becausethey are “so awesome.””I can always expect a highfive from Brandon when hecomes into the office and Jeanaalways says hi,” he said. “Theymake me feel welcome.”Besides his work at the BennionCenter, Brandon is alsoa senator in the Associat edStudents of the University ofUtah Senate.”I spend a lot of time participatingin other students groupslike ASUU, but throughout allthe things I have done, nothingamounts to what I havedone at the Bennion Center,”he said.”The kid is amazing,” ASUUVice President Bobby Harringtonsaid. “Very few peoplecould do everything he does.”Bradley said the BennionCenter would probably notshatter when Brandon andJeana leave, but it will be hardto see them go.”We will miss them,” hesaid.Brandon said Jeana will begraduating this semester andhe plans to begin his goal towardearning his master’s atColumbia University nextyear.”Jeana and I never wantedto be at this school and stayin Utah,” he said. “The experiencehas been better than wethought, but I have lived inUtah my whole life and wouldlike to go out of state.”Brandon said he will pursuehis passion for law at Columbia.”I was the founder for themock trials team and reallylike dealing with law,” he said.Brandon jokingly added thatwith the exception of ASUU,his older sister Jeana basicallyfollows him in everything hedoes. “I join a group and thenshe joins,” he said.Jeana said she makes herown decisions.Jeana does not agree.”Brandon would be lostwithout me.”Jeana said leaving the centerat the end of the semester willbe hard, but is just anotherstep in moving on.”I am sure we will both missthe Bennion Center,” she said.”We will never forget our experienceshere.”[email protected]