By his account, Ryan Brown, 28 and from Detroit, had a completely normal upbringing. He grew up in a two-parent household and was the middle of three children. However, his life was turned upside down at 13, after his father passed away.
“It was just hard after that,” shares Brown, who began to ask himself, “Am I really going to graduate?”
Brown struggled throughout high school and bounced between three schools. He attended Detroit East Catholic High School in ninth grade. Following its closure, he transferred to the Detroit School of Arts in 10th grade. “That didn’t work out so well, so I ended up leaving there and going to Consortium College Prep High School,” says Brown.
After graduating, Brown questioned whether he really wanted to continue his education. He ultimately decided upon Macomb and has been studying general business. “The environment was more controlled and accepting,” relates Brown. “It was easy to make my decision to come here.”
While Brown is set to earn his degree in December, he’s not finished with his studies. Aspiring to become a personal trainer, Brown intends to return to Macomb and earn the Certified Personal Fitness Trainer certification. But, that’s just one of several vocational aspirations.
“I think I’ve always wanted to do a lot of things,” says Brown. “I never found myself being consolidated into one thing.”
Inspired by the Food Channel, Brown also hopes to open a food truck. Diverging from the path set by others, he shuns the notion of serving common dishes such as tacos or macaroni and cheese. Instead, his plan is to offer breakfast. “Breakfast is one of those things that most people don’t get,” says Brown.
Another goal for Brown is to take his passion for writing, currently an outlet, and turn it into a career. His primary interest is in poetry, but he’s also penned a few unpublished self-help books.
“I went through a portion of life where I suffered from depression and anxiety, and it really got to me,” relates Brown. “I want to be on the other side of the spectrum, because I know what it feels like.”
Through his classes at Macomb, Brown feels he has the tools he needs to become a successful author. “It has expanded my abilities to think outside the box,” says Brown, “with the chance to continuously reach out more with my own works.” Beyond that, his classes challenged him to come out of his shell.
“My experiences (at Macomb) were good, because I forced myself to be open and more communicative with other students and teachers,” says Brown. Enrolling in the business program “was one of the easiest things I could have done.”