William Brawner is the Founder & Executive Director of Haven Youth Center, Inc., a non-profit organization that provides educational, social, and recreational services to HIV positive youth and young adults located in Philadelphia, PA. Severely burned at 18 months of age, William contracted the virus through a blood transfusion as a toddler. He has now been HIV positive for over 25 years and has made it his life’s mission to help HIV positive youth.
William holds a Bachelor’s degree from Howard University and Master’s degree from Marygrove College. He has counseled young people infected and affect by HIV/AIDS throughout his career, prior to opening his own non-profit organization in 2007. At the age of 27, William opened Haven Youth Center, Inc., so that young people infected and affected by HIV/AIDs would have a “safe haven” to which they could go every day. ”Often times when I was younger I was unable to tell people about my diagnosis.” In August 2010, William became the camp director of Camp Bright Feathers, a camp for HIV/AIDS infected and affect youth, a camp William attend as an adolescent and which served as his inspiration for Haven.
William has recently released a documentary: “25 to Life” highlighting his diagnosis, life of stigma and discrimination. William has been featured in many magazines, and received awards for his work in advocacy and service.
William has shared the stage with Earvin “Magic” Johnson in to share his story of triumph, and presented at the Essence Music Festival. He has been the keynote speaker at educational institutions throughout the country, especially Historically Black Colleges & Universities to encourage testing and behavioral changes.
Above all his accomplishments, William’s greatest accomplishment is that of being a proud husband and father. William strives to build a legacy that his son can follow in one day.