After dropping out in the 1960s, a veteran has now completed his college studies while igniting a hidden talent.
Brown's Academic Journey
After leaving school over six decades ago to focus on his job, he moved to South Carolina and took courses at a local school for one semester.
By the age of 73, Brown learned about a veteran affairs program that supported his academic ventures at South Carolina State University.
“I’m sitting in class with my grandkids. I always told them, ‘Hey, you know, you guys are my grandkids.’ You know, they’re in their early 20s and here I am in my middle 70s,” Brown said, according to CBS News. “But it was real good. I mean, I had no problem adjusting. They welcomed me very much, so everything turned out.”
Brown Discovers New Passion
Brown’s interactions with his classmates and the school opened his mind to a realm of possibilities. Soon, Brown found himself interested in taking courses, which included acting.
“I think what happened – in fact, I know now what happened – is sometimes you have a talent inside and you don’t even know you have the talent,” Brown told CBS Williams. “I had the talent inside, but I didn’t even realize I had acting talent inside of me.”
To fulfill his academic requirement, Brown had to write a play. He decided to structure a play based on a true story of his 6,000-mile round trip to watch Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speak in Washington D.C. in 1968.
Brown credits his college degree for helping him cement the rewarding memory, and he also hopes to turn the play into a real production at the university in collaboration with peers.
“I do believe in my heart that we need to put this out so that the younger generation, younger folk, can see this and say, ‘Okay, our ancestors, some of those in the front of us actually did a lot to sacrifice so we could have these freedoms and equality that we have,'” he said. “I feel that if they could actually see that, and if we could reach two or three, I think it would be worth it. Just so they can appreciate what we went through so they would have an easier day.”