Local 7600 member John Bryan gives back locally and globally

John Bryan came to the United States 35 years ago from Jamaica, looking to pursue his passion for helping others. He decided to enter the health care industry, studying to become a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), and has been working at Kaiser-Permanente in Riverside, Calif., for the past 22 years as a proud member of USW Local 7600.

Figure 1: John Bryan with his brother, Dane Bryan, and his sister and her husband, Merline and Alan Ferguson, during his last trip to Jamaica in May 2019.

Currently working as a union representative for his local, Bryan’s heart continues to lead the way outside of his day job. He has committed himself to uplifting the world’s most vulnerable populations, creating a nonprofit organization that has taken him to places like Africa and even back to his home country. 

To Bryan, a self-proclaimed “people-person,” every step he takes is toward building a better community for all.

“For me, personally, it’s about coming to America and giving back to those who don’t have, because I know what that is like,” Bryan said.

Bryan’s organization, GIAWIM (Go Into All the World International Missions), certainly stays busy in its quest to give back. After the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti in January 2010, his group flew in to provide clean water and medical care to those affected.

During a trip to Kenya, Bryan came upon a small town, Magadi, that lacked a school. The closest was 7.5 miles away, too far for children ages 1-10 to walk. Bryan returned home, raised money through a partnership with his organization and his church, and built a school in Magadi. The government now manages the school, providing teachers to work with the children.

Figure 2: GIAWIM's latest project was at Bryan's childhood school in Jamaica.

Bryan’s most recent venture was with his own childhood school in Jamaica. In May 2019, GIAWIM organized a “fun day” for the kids and even purchased the school’s first computer. The organization plans to return again this May, bringing a large-screen projector that can be connected to the computer.

“I’m trying to make this an annual thing,” Bryan said.

GIAWIM is currently working on a new website as they prepare for the May trip. Bryan is also hard at work building alliances with his employer, Kaiser, with which the activist said he’s built a good partnership on community initiatives, such as collecting hygiene products for the homeless population in the Riverside area.

From building schools to holding someone’s hand at their bedside, Bryan said, “It’s all about making a difference in someone’s life.”

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