Chairman of the Board
Paul Branning is the Chairman of the Board of Abundant Life Academy (ALA). Originally from Springfield, New Jersey, Mr. Branning went into the automotive business at the age of twenty-two and built a successful career. A little later in life, while serving with a youth crisis hotline at his church, he discovered his true passion. It was then that Mr. Branning realized his desire to help young people who are struggling and getting into trouble. Since then, he has ministered to youth in detention centers, and on various mission’s trips.
Over the years, Mr. Branning and his wife, Kathy, have grown their family. Together they have seven children. When one of his daughters began struggling in her teen years, through much prayer and searching God led the family to Abundant Life Academy. Through the efforts of the dedicated ALA staff and the program offered at the school, their daughter began an amazing transformation process.
On Mr. Branning’s first visit to see his daughter he was impressed by the work that ALA was doing with the students, and during subsequent visits he began to get more involved. Over the year that his daughter was enrolled, Mr. Branning took on more of a leadership role with Abundant Life Academy, which eventually led him to assume the role of Chairman of the Board. It was through dealing with a crisis in his own family that God opened a door for him to turn his passion to help troubled youth and their families into full time ministry with Abundant Life Academy.
Mr. Branning’s goal for ALA is to equip students with the tools they will need to succeed in life both academically and spiritually. His vision is to create an atmosphere that would help young people thrive in academics, relationships, communication, and above all in their personal walk with the Lord. He hopes to move the school into a larger facility. Such a move would allow for expanded opportunities to minister to the needs of the youth, including implementing an aftercare program that will make it possible for ALA graduates to choose to live in a separate facility on campus while attending college. This would enable them to ease out of the program while still having the support and mentorship of the ALA staff.
Mr. Branning is passionate about the next generation. He feels our young people are facing more challenges than ever before. “Everything is ‘instant’ in today’s society,” says Branning. “Kids have challenges today that are far beyond what was experienced in the past—the challenges are tremendous for these kids. ALA is at the forefront of the effort to help kids because of everything we have to offer— family reps, aftercare, community service projects, brain-core, horsemanship, parent communication, and outreach.”
Passionate and dependent on the Lord’s guidance, Mr. Branning cares deeply about ALA’s vision and goals. He is committed to helping the ALA staff guide each student and promote the mission to restore families through the grace and love of Jesus Christ.