December 22, 2013
Kevin Brinson, a senior in management and international business, has received numerous honors and accolades, but his passion is to give back to others and help uplift communities.
Bachelor of business administration in management and international business, certificate in personal and organizational leadership
University highlights, achievements and awards:
One of the biggest highlights of my UGA experience has been bringing Seeds of Knowledge to campus. SOW is a nonprofit organization that my family started when I was younger, and during my upperclassman years of high school, I was really challenged to get the ball rolling on my own initiatives. Through the Honors International Scholarship Program, I went to Benin in summer 2012 and was able to deliver some handmade books produced by UGA students in addition to school supplies, workbooks and the like to more than 1,700 children. The UGA community has been great about helping, and we’ve created about 300 handmade books that act as supplemental materials. We’re hoping to continue making handmade books at UGA to further the education of children in Africa. I dream of being able to so heavily impact the country of Benin that we strengthen the educational programs for generations and generations to come.
Another highlight of mine involves meeting one of my mentors, Randy Groomes, through the Terry College of Business. He’s given me some great life and professional advice. That relationship led me to take advantage of several Terry programs such as the Leonard Leadership Scholars Program, Terry Business Academy (Mergers and Acquisitions), Deer Run Fellows Program and Terry Ambassadors Program. These programs have truly created some lasting friendships and given me some awesome insight.
There also are numerous student organizations that have really held my heart here. Being a part of something special through Georgia Daze and the Student Alumni Council have increased my love for this university, and I’m excited for my first year as a member of Omicron Delta Kappa. Though they all have different purposes, I know that I can continue to learn from others’ experiences and perspectives. Outsides of UGA, I’ve been honored and humbled to be named a Management Leadership for Tomorrow Fellow, GEICO achievement recipient, Pearson Prize National Fellow, Liberty Mutual Responsible Scholar, Institute for Responsible Citizenship Scholar and Harvard Summer Venture Management Program participant. These are special to me because they would not have been possible without support from my family, mentors and friends.
McIntosh High School
Tour guide at the Visitors Center and career development intern at the Career Center
Family Ties to UGA:
I was the first person in my family to attend UGA, but thankfully my younger brother Biola (Class of 2016) has followed suit. He’s majoring in cellular biology and has an interest in creating sporting equipment that will better protect athletes. He’s always making me proud, and I am so thankful he’s with me at UGA.
I chose to attend UGA because...
… of a program called Georgia Daze. GA Daze is a minority recruitment student organization that really showed me what UGA had to offer while making me feel comfortable to be a minority student here at UGA. During the residential weekend, several administrators and professors shed light on incredible opportunities such as our numerous student organizations and Honors Program. Knowing I had the GA Daze family, the possibility of joining the Honors Program and various student organizations made me comfortable to select the University of Georgia.
My favorite things to do on campus are...
… give campus tours, visit my mentors and professors in Terry and on North Campus, hang out with my brother and friends, and learn about the work of some incredible student organizations.
When I have free time, I like...
… to hang out with my friends anywhere in Athens. We have such a great college town and you can turn just about anything into an adventure. I also have a passion for development, and that extends to people, ideas and organizations. Getting the chance to do that is something that I enjoy. I also have played tennis from a young age, and it’s great to get back on the court sometimes.
The craziest thing I've done is...
… roam around rural Benin knowing that my French might not be very useful. Although French is the official language of Benin, in some parts, Fon (a native language) is much more prevalent. However, the schools that Seeds of Knowledge serves are typically in rural areas. So if I ever went without family, I was largely left to my own devices, but I still had a great time!
My favorite place to study is...
… actually in my former residence hall, Building 1516. There were so many great study rooms and areas and it was just so convenient for me to grab a room and get out of my room to study.
My favorite professor is...
That’s a tough question, and I’ll cheat a bit and pick two: Vikki Clawson and Jessica Rodell. Dr. C, as we call her, has been extremely impactful to me inside and outside of the classroom. She created an environment where the class felt comfortable to share personal stories about life and leadership. Outside of the classroom, she guides the capstone project for the Leonard Leadership Scholars and has offered so much assistance and encouragement as we go through our various phases of the project. Dr. Rodell was my professor for Organizational Behavior and would really do whatever she could to answer my countless questions. She’s very willing to help students pursue interests in this subject and keeps the class engaged in discussions.
If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with...
… my late grandfather. He instilled the values of education and faith in our family and was a selfless person. Although he didn’t have the chance to obtain an education, he pushed us so hard to do well in our schooling. He always had a smile on his face and gave us some wisdom and insight. As I grow older, I know that his wisdom would really better my outlook. He worked in a Coca-Cola plant for more than 20 years to support his family and so that his wife could return to college.
If I knew I could not fail, I would...
… start a consulting firm serving nonprofit organizations and emerging businesses. I have always had a bit of an entrepreneurial itch, and I love developing organizations and ideas.
If money was not a consideration, I would love to...
… create an honors organization for African-American college students. In the summer of 2012, I became part of the Institute for Responsible Citizenship. I4RC essentially gave me the chance to live with about 20 other African-American men doing incredible things across the country. The experience was life changing and empowering. I want to create something that will be able to help high-achieving African-American students and create a network that will create opportunities and improve and empower African-American communities across the country.
After graduation, I plan to...
… start working at a consulting firm and continuing to develop Seeds of Knowledge before returning to school for an MBA after a couple of years. I also plan to stay involved with UGA through an Alumni Association chapter as well as various other programs that have helped in my development.
The one UGA experience I will always remember will be...
… is Leadershape. It was a phenomenal program that really allowed people to feel comfortable to share their wildest dreams and passions. I also really enjoy peer learning and peer interaction, and getting to hear insight from such a breadth of people is something that I’ll always treasure. As I look to accomplish my dreams and visions to uplift communities near and dear to me, I’ll always have the Leadershape experience and principles to help direct my path.