Editor’s note: Best Buy is proud to honor Latinx Heritage Month and celebrate our Latinx employees and communities. Read on for the story of one of our employees.
Braynell Estrada Britton began serving his community as early as elementary school in his hometown of Managua, Nicaragua. His parents and teachers taught him the importance of volunteering his time and how to use his talents and skills to help others.
Decades later, these values continue to shape the associate corporate counsel’s life. He was recently named Outstanding Pro Bono Attorney of the Year by the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota (ILCM), where he’s been a volunteer for three years. At ILCM, Braynell represents immigrants seeking protection under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and naturalization, when citizenship is granted after meeting the Immigration and Nationality Act requirements.
“When [ILCM] reaches out to me, I always say yes,” he said. “They are an amazing organization that does lot for the community and provides better protection and security for immigrants in Minnesota.”
From Nicaragua to the U.S.
While Braynell considers his own immigration journey in the U.S. easier than most, he still knows how difficult it can be to build a life in a new country.
In 2013, he had just graduated from law school in Nicaragua and was planning to start his career in Central America. However, his parents had begun the U.S. citizenship process for their family, and he needed to move to the U.S. to establish residency.
This meant for Braynell to practice law, he would need to return to law school to earn a U.S. law degree and license. He spent the majority of his first year in the U.S. researching his options to get into law school and working at a mattress delivery company in New Jersey. Finally, he was connected to a professor at the University of Saint Thomas Law School and accepted into the law program.
“It was a hard time for me,” he said. “But these experiences helped me learn how to pivot from my original plan to something new and still see the positive.”
Creating roots in Minnesota
Braynell moved to Minnesota to begin his law studies. While he was planning to move out of Minnesota shortly after graduating law school, he fell in love with the state and the people and has stayed for the past eight years.
Following his graduation, Braynell interned with ILCM, which began his passion for immigration work in the Minneapolis community. Ever since, he’s continued to volunteer at ILCM to assist individuals and families applying for U.S. citizenship. Because Braynell is trained in civil law from his education in Nicaragua and common law practiced in the U.S., he’s easily able to navigate between different countries’ law systems, which can be difficult in immigration cases.
He’s also a member of the Minnesota Hispanic Bar Association and was recently named the organization’s president-elect. With this group, Braynell encourages Latinx youth to consider law careers and serves as a mentor to law students and new attorneys.
“This is my way to use my resources and abilities to help my community,” he said. “By the community growing and bringing in more diverse perspectives and businesses, that will make it better.”
Best Buy support
When Braynell joined the Best Buy corporate counsel team a year ago, he was glad to know his pro bono work and community involvement would be supported by his Best Buy team.
“We always say at Best Buy to bring your whole self to work and when I found out this was important to him, it was an easy fit,” said Katie Donald, Braynell’s manager. “We really value giving back with pro bono work.”
Whether it’s by helping people become U.S. citizens or preventing risk at Best Buy, Braynell’s goal is to leave his surroundings better than he found them.
“Any way I can make my community better — that’s what motivates me,” he said. Learn more about Best Buy’s support for DACA recipients