Article from the Goucher College Magazine. For more select stories from this issue of the magazine, Click HERE.
After graduating from Goucher College, Natalie Williams Brewer '04 was fresh off a standout career in track and field when she started her first job in Baltimore City schools as a second grade teacher at the Empowerment Academy. Little did she know a student in her first class would follow in her footsteps at Goucher.
Fifteen years later, that student, Brandon Julot '20, is now a thrower on the Gophers men's track and field team.
"When I first saw Brandon's name and picture [on Goucher's Facebook page], I thought—I'm so proud of all Brandon has accomplished," said Brewer, who is still a Baltimore City school teacher. "Statistics show that only 27% of students from Baltimore City schools graduate from college, but Brandon is the seventh from that first class that I have heard is about to finish college."
Despite not knowing that his second grade teacher went to Goucher when he applied, Julot is happy to have the connection. "It's inspiring to see her successes as an athlete and to be part of her legacy," said Julot.
Even though it has been 15 years since Brewer taught Julot, both recall their time together similarly.
"I especially remember Brandon because he was very funny," said Brewer. "He used to share his jokes during show-and-tell and told me he wanted to be a comedian when he grew up. He was such a pleasure to teach."
Julot said that as the second grade class clown he did not know he would be a track athlete, but if he could ask Brewer a question now it would be about mental toughness and technique in the sport.
Brewer, a member of the Goucher College Athletics Hall of Fame, left her mark at Goucher in the hammer event after qualifying for the NCAA Division III Track and Field Championships in her final two seasons, finishing 19th and 11th, respectively.
Brewer says the "X factor" drives her, a lesson that she learned from Goucher throws coach Larry Wineke. It's the same advice Brewer gives to Julot as he enters his final season as an athlete. Julot finished in the top 10 in the shot put in his last five meets in 2018-19, including a ninth-place finish at the Landmark Conference Championships.
"Coach Wineke always told us the way to get to the next level is having that X factor," said Brewer. "That X factor is passion, drive, and faith. You have to push yourself beyond what you thought you could do. Your X factor will take you to the next level."
Julot hopes to have a successful final year before he graduates and pursues a career in human resources.
"I made huge strides in my throwing ability last indoor and outdoor track and field season," said Julot. "My goal this season is to be the best thrower and athlete that I can be, and I always strive to be a positive, supportive teammate and a good leader."