For Wiley College Alumnus Chris Brown, education was always at the forefront in his life.
He was reared by a single mother, who worked hard to provide for him and his younger siblings and to make sure they were afforded all of the opportunities that she didn’t have.
“Higher education was highly promoted in my household. I am the first one to graduate. My great grandmother didn’t have a degree, my grandmother, nor my mother.”
Brown, who was born and reared in Monroe, Louisiana, says life growing up wasn’t easy, but he always saw a way out.
“Sometimes we went without. Sometimes, you know, utilities were disconnected, but my mom made sure that at the end of the day, that they were turned back on, and she did what she could” to make sure things worked out for the family, he says.
“I knew that I could only get out of this struggle, if I promote myself with an education. So, I attended Wiley College and here I am today.”
Wiley, in Marshall, Texas, is one of the 11 Historically Black Colleges andUniversities supported by The United Methodist Church through its Black College Fund.
Brown graduated with a Bachelors of Science degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a background in English, Global Administration and Criminology. He is currently pursuing his master’s in Public Administration in Governmental Affairs & Policy at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona. Brown is currently serving as a Counselor for Enrollment Management at Jarvis Christian College, under the amazing and well respected leadership of Dr. Lester C. Newman, 12th President.
He says his education from Wiley changed his life. Spring 2019, Mr. Brown was awarded the Wiley College’s, & United Negro College Fund’s -National Outstanding Young Alumnus of the Year.
“Wiley has given me an opportunity to be an example for young people all across the country and in my city and in my state. It allows me to be their voice and to help them find their voice.
“Wiley allowed me to speak up for what I believe in and don’t back down for anyone. And, that’s what I like about it — the passion, the compassion …,” he says.
His success also has been an inspiration for younger members of his family.
“The further I go, the more I know that I challenge them to be greater than their current circumstances.”
He’s grateful for the Black College Fund and the education it helped support. He urges United Methodists to continue “pouring into the program.”
“So many of the students that are gaining from this program don’t have the resources, and this is truly their only way of making it. … To have resources behind you like that says that you can conquer anything in life.”
He says the BCF isn’t just helping today’s students, it’s paving the way for a brighter future. “If you continue to invest in the future, you’ll reap the harvest of something great.”
Brown’s goal is to be an attorney one day so that he can help reform the criminal justice system. With hopes of attending Southern University Law Center, once completing his master’s degree.
“It’s my only hope and my only prayer that I am making a significant difference,” he says. “I think I already know (my purpose) at this point. It’s to serve with a genuine heart.”
In 2019, released his first book ANTRON: “Antron: Dear Absent Father, Life Being Reared by My Mother” Chris Brown shares insight about growing up without a father in the south. From the tragic start of conception to his life as a college student, Chris shares his stories and life lessons to inspire those that may not have had the best start but that believe that there is more in a world filled with doubts.