Odyssey alum elected alder

Brian Benford with Emily Auerbach and Kevin Mullen

“In my role as the success coach for Odyssey during this pandemic, I have never witnessed so much suffering among marginalized populations,” notes Brian Benford. Just elected alder for Madison’s sixth district, Brian graduated from Odyssey’s Class of 2007 and went on to earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree in social work from UW–Madison.

Brian explains that a “slow‑burning anger in his soul,” combined with his 30 years of community service as a family advocate, activist, educator and policy maker, led him to run for office this winter. He will continue in his role as Odyssey’s success coach while serving as alder.

“I feel extremely fortunate to give back to a program that was life‑transformative for me,” says Brian. “Odyssey directly demonstrates that everyone should have access to free, quality education. We live in a community that has some of the worst racial disparity gaps in education, within our criminal justice system, income, housing and the list goes on. Odyssey’s holistic programming helps to alleviate some of those disparities.”

Brian praises Odyssey’s efforts to help families in need. “With two insidious diseases ravaging our community — COVID‑19 and, for centuries longer, systemic racism — being part of the Odyssey family gives me inspiration and hope for the future.”

Brian claims his role as Odyssey’s success coach is “the hardest work” he has ever done and urges donors to keep contributing to our family fund. We congratulate Alder Brian Benford!

Donate to the Friends of Odyssey Family Fund