In 2006, Michael Brown was given six months to live. Diagnosed with sarcoidosis, a disease of unknown cause that leads to inflammation, he became blind in one eye, suffered from other complications and was declared disabled.
“I saw a lot of people sit around and do nothing on disability,” he said. “I knew I always wanted a college degree. My mother was a single parent of three, and she earned two master’s degrees. I knew if she could do it, I could do it.”
So he did. A single father of two, Michael enrolled at CVCC in 2008 in the advertising & graphic design associate degree program. He worked hard in class and became involved in the Minority Males on the Move group to help reach out to the men and young men like himself.
“If I can catch these guys at the breaking point where it's education or the streets, I know I can help them. I know I can show that what you see around you is not what you have to become. Education will carry you through. It’s something that can't be taken away.”
Michael graduated in May ‘11 and works freelance as a graphic designer. He also continues his involvement with M3, helping the group with marketing and design materials and serves as a mentor.