Education Spirit Award: William Brown
Before he was the founding board member at Legacy Early College, before he entered a career as a public accountant, before he had resources and business experience to devote to the cause of education, Mr. Brown says, he had “nothing to give but time.” So, he did, driving high school kids to basketball practice where he was their coach. He recalls having players in the 9th or 10th grade who couldn’t read. To Mr. Brown, it felt like a death sentence on their education. “I said to myself, ‘one of these days I want to commit myself to make a difference in that.’”
At Legacy, the title “Early College” doesn’t just mean high school. They start at elementary school, taking students from 5 years old through 12th grade. It’s a strategic system, focusing first on those paramount formative years, then steadily, carefully guiding each student through. William Brown founded Legacy Early College with the intent to level the playing field for low-income or underprivileged kids.
“Scholars,” as Mr. Brown repeatedly refers to the students. “We actually believe it and we expect them to believe it. I want them to see themselves as scholars . . . as successful. I want them to be able to choose the opportunities they have in life. You can’t do that without education, and you can’t do it without believing in your own value.”
The key vision at Legacy Early College is to take scholars through high school graduation to college, and beyond. Mr. Brown’s goal is to build an education system that works not just in the moment, but for the long haul.
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“Mr. William Brown’s impact through Legacy Early College demonstrates the essence of his belief that each child can ‘be all they can be’ if they work hard and believe in themselves. His dedication to our youth has granted students the gift of a distinguished education that instills confidence and proficiency while driving success. It is a great honor for The Capital Corporation to be able to recognize his work.” – C. Dan Adams, President and CEO, The Capital Corporation