We had the good fortune of connecting with Suzanne Brown and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Suzanne, what do you attribute your success to?
The most important factor(s) behind my success/my brand would be the four G’s. Those four G’s are Grace, Grit, Grind and Gumption. Grace is what I try to grant in all circumstances of my life. Emphasis on “try.” I believe that every scenario deserve grace rather it be with a person, place or things. It is my goal in life to grant grace first before reacting. When I speak of Grit, I’m speaking of the strength in my character, which represents my brand. Grind, represents my work ethic and my constant pursuit of excellence. Not perfection but excellence, which is my absolute best. Gumption, is the boldness I bring to the table. My ability to face challenges before me with confidence and as fearless as possible, even in the face of failure.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a what you would call a Macro Social Worker. I am an advocate on behalf of vulnerable populations for systemic changes in practices, policies, funding, strategy and community empowerment. I do this work through my position as the Executive Director of Southern California at a non profit organization called First Place for Youth. Where we serve young adults transitioning out of foster care through housing, education and employment to support their transition into self-sufficiency and adulthood. I am most proud to be a voice and influencer for social impact but mostly for social change. I was called to social work. It chose me, I didn’t choose it. I got to where I am today buy choosing purpose over profit. I believe in living a purpose-driven life and I am grateful to be able to do this both personally and professionally. The road to where I am was not easy, it was laced with sacrifice, disappointment, discouragement, rejection and loss. I overcame those challenges with grace, grit, grind and gumption. I didn’t let getting knocked down, knock me out. With every obstacle, I grew stronger in the belief that I could achieve what I set out to do. I learned that every connection, experience, encounter has a purpose. That purpose would either bring you closer to or further away from your destiny. I also learned that those experiences, encounters and connections that tried to deter you from your destiny are meant to strengthen you for your next assignment and /or experience on journey in life. I want the world know that I Was Here, I lived, I loved and I learned….I was Here. And If one life was changed or influenced for the better because I was here, then my life served its purpose and my assignments were completed with success.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If my best friend was visiting the area to show them the best time ever, I would take them to the Santa Monica pier. We would then play a few games, ride a few rides, walk the pier, look at trinkets and statement pieces, we would bask in the sun. breath the ocean. We would eat French fries, ice cream and anything else we craved. Some of the most fun, interesting places and people to check out, would be art museums, like MOCHA, Art + Practice, LACMA. The most interesting people to meet would be former foster youth at First Place for Youth. The most interesting thing to check out would be the WATTS Towers.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
The persons I would dedicate my shoutout to would be, to my husband of 10 years, Lamont D. Brown who has supported me through every endeavor beyond measure. My mother, Sheila Coleman, I am, because she is. My village of family members and the best girlfriends a woman could have. My mentors, Patricia A. Phipps, Angela J. Reddock-Wright, Pamela Bakewell, Nolan Rollins, Sojourner Truth and Harriet Tubman, to all of the courageous transitional age foster and opportunity youth of the world, the Urban League movement that helped to shape me into the agent of change I am today and to my line and sorority sisters of the best sorority in the world, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. The influence of these individuals and entities didn’t always come from what they said, but by what they did, even when no one was watching. Thank you for every bit of support you’ve given me and for inspiring me to be and do more.
Linkedin: First Place for Youth
Facebook: First Place for Youth
Youtube: First Place for Youth
Other: Follow me on LinkedIn @Suzanne Brown, Social Impact Agent of Change
Photo credits: @capturedmoments_ap – Fall Mixer 2019 Josiah