By Janeal Downs
Despite the struggles her family has had, Byunce Brown has endured and learned from the mistakes of others. “Grow up and do better than I did,” Byunce’s mother advised her. With addiction disturbing her family life, there have been times where Byunce grew up in a care home, with her grandparents, and even, at times, was responsible for raising herself. However, throughout these trials, she and her family have endured. Byunce named her parents and siblings as her biggest motivations to succeed in life. “My parents, because of the situations they’ve been through, I know not to follow their footsteps,” she said. “And my siblings, they’re younger than me, so I know I have to continue on and give them a role model.”
Watching her mother overcome her struggles, is what influenced Byunce to grow older making the right choices. Her mother also taught her that education should be her first priority. “She believes that education will help me with the goals I have set for myself, and also taught me that I can do anything if I put my mind to it,” she stated in an essay. From passing her SOL’s and taking advanced classes, she is close to graduating from high school and currently has a 3.1 GPA. Her favorite subject is mathematics, which she plans to minor in while working toward her degree. Throughout her high school years, Byunce has focused on her school work, but she also participated in outside activities. She ran for the track and field team in her 9th and 10th grade, and she also had the chance to work for Kings Dominion.
Byunce plans to continue her education by attending college and pursuing a career as a veterinarian. “When I was little I always wanted to be a veterinarian. My doctor would ask me what I wanted to be and I would be like, ‘a vet,’” Byunce recalled about when her interest started. She was reminded and reassured of her passion when she had the opportunity to volunteer with the Richmond Animal Control Center. As a volunteer, she walked dogs, washed them, fed the dogs and cats and learned how to restrain the animals. Though she likes all types of animals, her favorite are elephants which she liked ever since doing a project on them in the third grade. To work toward her career as a veterinarian, Byunce plans to attend John Tyler Community College or J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College for her core classes. She is interested in later transferring to Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia State University or Norfolk State University. These schools stood out to her because of their proximity to her home.
One of Byunce’s mottos is “if you want it, go out and get it.” This is something she will take with her to college as she works toward her dream. “Mature beyond her years, she is focused on what matters to her success and making others feel good,” her teacher, Meredith Spencer, said. Spencer described Byunce as honest, dependable, incredibly strong and hard-working. Another teacher, Natashya Jackson, also described her as “a hard-working, mature young lady who does not back away from a challenge.” As a teacher’s assistant for Jackson, Byunce is also described as reliable and responsible.
Her life experiences and also her parents’ experiences have taught Byunce and motivated her to succeed in high school and soon in college. “I am motivated by overcoming hard experiences, encouraged by family and friends, and having the personal drive to succeed,” she stated in an essay. “I know I will be ready to attend college in fall 2017 and overcome any other challenges that come my way.” Along with working as a vet, Byunce desire an independent and financially stable life in the future.