INDIANAPOLIS — Five days into 2020, Brandon Warren would need his family and his faith to survive this crisis.
"I tell you nothing happens in vain, and my God did not leave me here for nothing," Warren said. "He has big things in store for me."
In high school, Brandon was among the kids who dreamed big.
After the shooting death of a fellow football teammate in 2017, he started the group "We LIVE Indy" to focus on youth violence. The organization allows teens and politicians to build bridges to address the complicated issue.
In 2018, WRTV honored Warren's good work with a surprise presentation of the Jefferson Award for Multiplying Good outside his home, surrounded by his family.
The young man's efforts received national acclaim when he represented Indiana at the national Jefferson Award ceremony in the nation's capital.
In the spotlight during his high school years, the teen found himself facing dark moments while in college in Muncie. Anxiety, stress, and depression led to an attempted suicide with a gun.
Jan. 5, 2020 — a day Brandon says he will never forget.
The gunshot injury to his head was severe, taking months of rehab to recover.
He had to relearn how to talk and how to walk.
Every step of the way, his friends and family were at his side.
"I was able to realize my army of people that I actually had, and still have been there for me anytime I find myself in the darkness like I once was in," Warren said. "There for me in such a way where they're there for me emotionally and mentally."
His path to good health included a recommitment to his faith, a rebirth, and a new book entitled "Be Inspired." Filled with words and a story he hopes will help someone during a difficult time.
"How can my life to be inspiring to one other than me, so despite my injury, despite trials and tribulations of life, despite January 5th," Warren said. "How can my situation inspire someone else?"
A tattoo with eight letters that spells out the word "continue" is on Brandon's right wrist.
Warren says, "it's to remind me as a survivor to continue."
Warren's new book "Be Inspired" will be out soon. He just celebrated a birthday and is continuing his college studies.
If you or someone you know needs to talk with someone trained in suicide prevention, call 1-800-273-8255.