Film Student Spends $2,500 Financial Aid Check On Vacation To Thailand

Brandon Lerry is a Los Angeles film student who recently made the news for spending his $2,500 financial aid check on a vacation to Thailand with his girlfriend of a couple of months. In addition to a ton of Instagram photos, the young couple posted a video and some Facebook pictures documenting their trip.
But now that their excursion to Thailand has gone viral courtesy of an EliteDaily article, people on the internet are less than pleased about Brandon’s use of that money. Color us surprised. People are also a little confused about the facts of the story.

Who Is Brandon Lerry?

Brandon Lerry a film major student at California State University-Long Beach.
Brandon claims that he received a $2,500 financial aid check because of the fact that he was legally emancipated at the age of 16. As such, he’s considered an “independent student” by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and is eligible for financial aid because he’s paying for college without any outside help.
Brandon claims that $2,500 check went towards the flights for both him and his girlfriend. His job as an Uber driver helped to pay for some of the other costs.

Who Is Brandon’s Girlfriend?

Brandon’s girlfriend is Natalie Kremer who works as a waitress at a sports bar. The two had only been dating a few months before they decided to travel to Thailand together.
This was Natalie’s first trip out of the country.

“How I Spent My Financial Aid Like A Boss” Video

In addition to the amazing Instagram photos that Brandon and Natalie posted to @OurVisualEscape, the couple also made a phenomenal YouTube video documenting their journey.

Immediate Response To Their Trip

A lot of people are reacting negatively to the journey that Brandon and his girlfriend took. Either people are looking down on him for spending his money so foolishly, or they’re saying he’s indicative of millenials and people looking for handouts.
Of course, you also have people on the other side of the spectrum who think that what Brandon did was awesome. But here on the internet, you don’t really hear as many nice things that people say.


Brandon and Natalie’s Defense of Their Trip

Brandon and Natalie posted this Instagram caption to explain how they were able to afford the trip:

A common question that people seem to ask us is how were able to take so many trips and how were able to fund all of our traveling. Especially being a young couple who both work and go to school. It’s actually pretty simple, being passionate about something can make you do whatever it takes. Brandon is an uber driver, a full-time film student, a part-time intern, and I’m a waitress at a sports bar. We both thankfully have pretty flexible schedules when it comes to taking time off. It all starts with a vision. A destination in mind and once we buy that plane ticket or figure out a way of getting there, everything else sort of falls into place. We prioritize and budget our money leading up to our trip by not going out every weekend and not eating out as much (which actually helps a lot)! We know first hand that it could be a little discouraging to see all these photos on Instagram of others traveling to these amazing places and it might seem like they have unlimited money or zero responsibilities at home but you don’t need all the money in the world to go on that trip you’ve been dreaming about. We are just two normal people who don’t come from much but are both extremely passionate about seeing the world. We came to the realization that you can’t put off the things that you truly want. People tend to say, “as soon as I do this THEN I can do that.” The problem with thinking that way is that there will always be something in your way stopping you from what you truly want to do. Don’t sell yourself short of what you’re capable of accomplishing. The time is now.


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