Mission’s Youngest Student En Route to Grad School

Posted on: 9/5/2017

President Monte Perez, PhD and L.A. Mission College graduate, Adam Brown.

At 17 years old, Los Angeles Mission College’s youngest student, Adam Brown, is on his way to The George Washington University to pursue a master’s degree in Political Management with an emphasis on Electoral Politics.

Considering that most students his age are graduating high school and preparing for college, you could say his achievements are extraordinary. He recently received his bachelor’s degree from UCLA, and before that he graduated from L.A. Mission College at 14 years old.

But for those who have had the pleasure of meeting Adam, even more impressive still, is the level of maturity he demonstrates.

“As our youngest student ever, having started with us at just 8 years old, Adam is undoubtedly an impressive young man,” said L.A. Mission College President Monte Perez, PhD. “But most impressive of all is his sincere determination to become a community leader and improve the world around him.”

When he was 8 years old, he persuaded his mother, Geeta Brown, to let him attend L.A. Mission College. “I was looking for a challenge and Mission presented that challenge and a new experience for me to learn more,” Adam said.

He graduated from Balboa Gifted/High Ability Magnet, and went on to attend Nobel Charter Middle School. That’s when Mrs. Brown decided to pull him out halfway through the seventh grade. Adam said the move was better for his schedule and allowed him to take the classes he needed to transfer to UCLA.

“Ever since I was little, I was obsessed with learning everything I could about American presidents,” Adam said. “My mother would supply me with all the books I could handle.”

Mrs. Brown earned her Doctoral Degree in Education from USC’s Rossier School of Education. Adam’s father, Christopher Brown, is a film producer.

As soon as he started taking classes at Mission, he knew he had made the right choice.

“I took History 11 and every other History class available at Mission,” Adam said.

His Political Science classes began to fuel his interests in politics and public service. Political Science Professor Som Chounlamountry encouraged him to continue exploring these interests.

“I have always encouraged them (students) to speak their mind,” Professor Som said. “However, I always press upon them that when they open their mouths, they must be willing to open their minds. This was put in practice when Adam lost his in-class debate when he proposed to make school lunches more nutritious. It was a costly change that the students in the class voted down.”

Professor Som said that Adam was determined and used the class break to revise his points and integrate the concerns of others.

“He addressed every point of opposition, including the short term costs as an investment of the school children's health and as the saving of future healthcare costs,” Professor Som said. “Not only did he earn the votes of his classmates, he gained their respect as a formidable debater.”

When the semester was over, Adam continued to astonish his professors. He visited Professor Som at another university where he teaches. Adam presented his nonprofit organization, which helps young people understand politics.

“So with the gift of that great intellect, came the responsibility to use it in a fashion that would do the most good for the most people,” Professor Som said. “It has always been my hope that students would dedicate themselves to what Robert Kennedy appealed to all of us … ‘To tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world’. The Greek poet Aeschylus who wrote the passage would truly be proud of Adam Brown and his accomplishments.”

At 7 years old, Adam volunteered in his first political campaign for then-Presidential candidate Barack Obama. He also started his own nonprofit organization to help get kids interested in politics. At Mission, he was elected student body president.

“I want to help my community,” Adam said. “Right now I’m focused on my master’s degree, and I plan on going to law school … But I do want to eventually run for office.”

Adam is a big believer in the community college system, and credits L.A. Mission College with providing him with the classes that helped shape his career aspirations.

“When I first came here, I had a great feeling about the campus,” Adam said. “Everyone was helpful, and the school had the resources I needed … It even has the best food.”

Most importantly, Adam said, the time he spent at Mission helped prepare him for the challenges that awaited him at UCLA, and that now await him at GW this fall.

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