Brown Gives Back through Community Activities
By Judy Currin
Keisha Brown knows what it’s like to lose all of her worldly possessions. In the brief span of her 30-something years, she has seen three family homes destroyed by fire. In 1999, the devastating floodwaters of Hurricane Floyd left her homeless once again.
And while she doesn’t remember all the names of the countless volunteers who offered her food, clothing and shelter, she remembers the selfless gestures and prevailing generosity of spirit. That’s what inspires her to lend a helping hand to others.
“When I think about all the kind folks who offered me the most basic of needs, how can I not?” she said. “My parents instilled in the family the importance of giving back what has been given.”
Coordinator of ECU’s temporary services in Human Resources, Brown helps departments find qualified short-term personnel. She also assists applicants in improving resumes.
“Temporary personnel can fill in for unexpected or scheduled staff shortages, provide essential support during a work surge or complete special projects,” Brown said.
“It is cost effective for the university and also provides valuable hands-on experience in a variety of departments for our temps, often leading to permanent employment within the university.”
Outside the office, Brown’s community service efforts fall mostly under the umbrella of her collegiate sorority, Sigma Gamma Rho.
Sigma Gamma Rho is a non-profit organization, whose aim is to enhance the quality of life in the community, Brown said. “Public service, leadership development and youth education are the hallmark of the organization’s programs and activities.”
Brown, a recent inductee into ECU’s Servire Society, organized the sorority’s annual Pearls and Rubies Scholarship Luncheon, with which seven cancer survivors were honored for their dedication to community enhancement.
The sorority’s fundraising efforts this year led to donations to the American Cancer Society, Brown said.“We presented college scholarship money to three high school students who were either cancer survivors themselves, or had a parent who survived the disease.” Brown was responsible for selecting qualified recipients.
The luncheon is named after the official gemstones for Sigma Gamma Rho. “We want those that we honor to realize they are considered true ‘gems,’” she said.
Brown donates time to her church, the Koinonia Christian Center, most recently taking the helm as marketing chair to oversee events including the Walk 4 Seizure Disorders.
The walk is a 5K road race and 1 mile fun walk hosted by Koinonia and Bishop Rosie S. O’neal to honor the O’neal’s former executive secretary, Tecia Pearson, whose life ended from a seizure. Proceeds support local seizure associations, while the event provides education and awareness about seizure disorders.
In addition, Brown often makes the 2-hour drive to Elizabeth City where she spends time with her parents and her childhood church family, Faith and Victory.
“I enjoy assisting the church in planning the Mayfest celebration,” she said. “It is a free festival for families to share great food and music in a comfortable environment.”
Brown is working on a PhD in business marketing to maximize her effectiveness in assisting non-profit organizations.
The degree should go hand in hand with Brown’s activities. “As long as I have known Keisha she has been dedicated to serving others,” said Jennifer Muir, director of ECU’s Employment and Clinical Support Services.
“Her devotion to family, church and ECU is inspiring. I am grateful to have her on my staff.”