Determination, community, and a second chance helped Kelcey Brade achieve his dreams.
Today, Kelcey Brade (‘05) is a professional sportscaster for Sportscentre on TSN. But not that long ago, he was a struggling student at Trinity Western, unsure whether he’d even be able to graduate.
Brade grew up in Mayerthorpe, a small town in Alberta. There weren’t many positive influences in his life, but one of his best friends, Joel Giebelhaus (’05), attended Trinity Western and encouraged him to go, too. Trinity Western had a rec hockey team called the Titans—a draw for Brade, who had played competitively all the way up to Midget hockey.
But once he arrived on campus, he realized how unprepared he was for the academic world.
“When I first got to TWU, my writing was horrible,” Brade says. “I couldn’t write an essay to save my life. Which is funny because so much of my life now is writing.”
He’d come from a small town and gone to a small school, and was even homeschooled for a bit. He had little interest in studying and hadn’t challenged himself much academically, nor learned how to write a proper essay.
“My first semester I got the wakeup call when I was taking English classes and started getting horrible scores,” Brade admits. “It really caused me to ask myself if I even wanted to be there. But the immediate answer was yes. I had bigger dreams to get into the television industry and I knew that I’d have to pull up my socks and get to work.”
From an early age, Brade was interested in sports. “At four or five years old, I could tell you who won the hockey game the night before,” he says. Pursuing a career in broadcast journalism was always on his mind and he knew he’d have to work hard to get where he wanted to go.
“Because I’m sports obsessed, I viewed it as a challenge like any other athlete would,” Brade says. “By the end of my university years, there was no paper that I’d get less than a B or B+.”
Brade credits his ability to write today to the help of Giebelhaus, his then-girlfriend now-wife Sarah O’Neal (‘05), and several Communications professors who mentored him and took the time to answer his questions.
Gradually, Brade was able to improve his grades, and things were starting to look up. But there was another obstacle.
“In my second year, I got into some hot water for a stupid act,” Brade says. “I was suspended for a semester but TWU didn’t shut the door on me. They gave me a second chance. I’m a firm believer in second chances. Jesus’ grace for us is always there if we’re willing and humble enough to come before Him.
Trinity Western gave Brade a second chance, due to his repentant heart and true desire to be the man he knew he could be. “I’m grateful for that. If it wasn’t for Trinity Western giving me the four years I needed to mature as a young adult, my life could have headed in a completely different direction,” says Brade, who’ll emcee the 2017 Alumni Distinction Awards Gala.
“It’s kind of sweet that I can come back and host this awards night,” he says. “I could have very easily not have even graduated. But I did, because of the second chance I got at Trinity Western. I’m thankful for the opportunity. Now, whenever they ask, I’m more than willing to help out. They showed belief in me when I was at my most vulnerable.”