RuQuan Brown credits his stepdad for instilling in him the importance of working hard, even if no one's watching.
RuQuan Brown, 17, just graduated from high school with admission offers from 24 different colleges. You may be familiar with some of them. You know, just small places like Harvard, Yale, Georgetown, Howard... No big deal. What's an even smaller deal is the fact that he runs his own company which donates proceeds towards communities that are negatively impacted by gun violence. Alright, we can't keep it up anymore. This is totally the biggest deal ever. Brown always knew that he wanted to graduate at the top of his class and get into college, but he never imagined that his story would set an example for other young students.
Seven of the 24 colleges he got into are Ivy League institutions. In addition to this, he even got 16 full-ride scholarships. Some of the reasons for the whopping number of acceptances he got include: holding a 3.9 GPA, being student body president, and his stellar track record as an athlete. We don't know how he did it, but he is definitely quite the overachiever. Outside of school (yes, he has time for things outside of school despite all this), he runs Love1, "an anti-gun violence clothing line." 20% of all proceeds are donated to One Gun Gone, an organization that buys guns out of our communities and turns them into amazing art.
The website for the clothing brand reads, "Love1 encourages love and unity in order to save our loved ones, putting love at the front of our minds in order to make wise decisions, and focusing our efforts on something higher than ourselves in order to ensure spiritual protection." The company, Brown claims, is run by one motto: "You never know how your one act of love might literally save someone’s life." He was inspired to launch the company after losing many friends, family members, and teammates to guns. "I started it to honor the lives of my teammate and stepdad, who were murdered a year apart," he shared. "I wanted to beat gun violence to the punch so that our families don’t have to continuously fall victim to tragic losses."
The recent graduate credits his step-dad for his out-of-this-world work ethic. Brown said, "My stepdad took me to my first ever football practice. He would have me do 100 pushups a night starting at age seven. I never understood the importance of this until middle school when my body was physically mature compared to my male peers. He taught me the importance of working when nobody is watching. That is how you come out on top; doing the hard work in the dark." One thing is for sure, this superstar deserves to have the spotlight shone on all the brilliant work he has achieved. Now that's what we call Black excellence.