Nationally acclaimed youth speaker Mark Brown will present an anti-bullying talk to fifth and sixth graders in Great Bend on Tuesday. Brown is scheduled to speak at 1:45 p.m. at Holy Family School. Fifth and sixth graders from Lincoln Elementary School will also attend the program at HFS, said Kim Griffith with Great American Opportunities.
Brown has dedicated his career to getting inspirational messages out to young people all over North America, Griffith said. His Emmy- nominated presentation is part of a national outreach program against bullying, sponsored by Great American Opportunities, an organization that helps schools raise money. “Great American supports numerous educational activities that go beyond fundraising – like this speaker program featuring Mark Brown,” she said.
According to the biography supplied by sponsors, Brown immigrated to the United States from Kingston, Jamaica, at 18, with $40 in his pocket and a dream of a better life. He never imagined he’d devote his life to helping others. During a brief career as a systems analyst at Reader’s Digest, Brown developed a love for public speaking. But it wasn’t until a life-threatening illness in 1993 that he began to focus on a career change.
In 1995, he won Toastmasters International’s World Championship of Public Speaking, emerging first in a field of more than 20,000 entrants. The same year, the Harlem YMCA honored him with a Black Achievers in Industry Award.
In 1988, Brown became community relations manager of another fundraising company QSP, which was acquired this year by Great American Opportunities. He now spreads his positive messages to more than 200 audiences each year. He has also delivered addresses for numerous conferences, including the Maine Attorney General’s Conference on Civil Rights, the California Association of Student Leaders, the National Association of Elementary School Principals, the National Middle School Association, and the Canadian Student Leadership Conference.
Brown is a member of the National Speakers Association.
He lives with his wife and their three children in Lizella, Ga.