March 16, 2016//
Meet Sam Brown. He's been doing volunteer work for years, not for his résumé, but because he believes it's everyone's responsibility to help each other out.
UTSA taught me to be proactive. I learned how to grow up here. It's prepared me so well that I have no fears about starting my career.”
– Sam Brown
Born in Houston, Texas, Brown and his low-income family heavily relied on volunteer services in his community.
"We had college students come and hand out backpacks full of school supplies in the fall," he said. "Around Thanksgiving, they'd hand out turkeys."
Since high school, Brown has volunteered with his local community center in Houston to pay it forward. A football scholarship brought him to UTSA in 2012. Nevertheless, Brown has continued to travel home to volunteer.
"I see the kids we're helping out, and I remember that I was in their shoes not too long ago," he said. "I always felt so grateful. I knew back then that when I got older, I'd give back to my community."
Since coming to UTSA, Brown also has pursued volunteer opportunities on campus. He is a member of the UTSA chapter of Volunteer Organization Involving Community Education and Service (VOICES), which enables him to tutor and play games with low-income students after school.
"That's my nature," he said. "In fact, it's everyone's nature. We're human beings. We have to help each other out and uplift each other."
Brown also volunteers with the Girl Scouts of South Texas. A few days a week, he uses the engineering skills he's developed at UTSA to transition the organization to a more modern computer system.
"Coming to UTSA has made it possible for me to do what I know I could always do, and to use those talents to help others," Brown said. "I always had these skills. I just had to grow and develop them."
Brown, who is on track to graduate in 2017 with a degree in computer and electrical engineering, plans to continue volunteering after college.
"Volunteering motivates me to do better in my studies," he said. "When I'm not studying, I'm volunteering. I make it my duty to show everyone in my neighborhood that there's a way out, if you work hard."
Brown counts among his talents the ability to see even the smallest opportunities. He noted that his football talents in high school brought him a UTSA scholarship, which has now led to him tapping into his potential as an engineer.
"UTSA taught me to be proactive," he said. "I learned how to grow up here. It's prepared me so well that I have no fears about starting my career. I'm happy to have found a stable, solid life."
Do you know someone at UTSA who is achieving great things? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we might consider your submission for an upcoming installment of Meet a Roadrunner.