A beautiful imagination
A love of books and support from Clark transpired into Amanda Brown’s dream job
By Rowena Tchao
At first glance, Amanda Brown seems reserved and bookish as she diligently shuffles books from one shelf to another, but her imagination is swirling with stories as she presses her hand onto each book cover.
Brown has worked as a paraprofessional at Clark College’s Cannell Library for the last eight years. Every morning as she walks through the library doors, she’s immediately comforted by the ambiance of the room and the books that line the shelves. She smiles to herself because it feels like home.
Brown grew up in Arab, Ala., which has a population of 8,300. She spent much of her teenage years nestled in the children’s and teen section at the local library devouring everything she could about dragons and magicians. With every story came an idea for an invention or business plan. It was during this time that her entrepreneurial spirit was sparked.
By age 16, Brown started a delivery business, called Corolla Courtesy, with a friend. They spent their summer delivering fast food and groceries to their family and friends in a Toyota Corolla. Despite their best efforts, the demand for grocery delivery was just not there, so they folded the business after 8 months. Little did they know then what the delivery business would become a handful of years later.
In 2011, Brown’s family headed west to Vancouver, Wash., when her mother became engaged to be married. Times were hard for the family in their adopted city at the tail-end of the recession. In an effort to pursue a better life for herself and her family, Amanda’s mother, Tamara, enrolled at Clark College. When Amanda graduated from high school, her mother encouraged her to attend Clark too because of the outstanding instructors and beautiful campus.
Brown took her mother’s advice and enrolled at the college in 2004 and attended for about two years before taking a break to go back to work. Over time, she re-enrolled at Clark, found a work-study student position to help with her educational expenses, eventually becoming a full-time employee in 2008 and completing her associate degree in 2011.
Brown has a deep appreciation for Clark College from tuition waivers she received to help complete her degree, to her supportive colleagues. The college is like a second family for Brown and because of this and more, she gives back financially to Clark every year.
“I made it where I am today thanks to help from others. I want to help make a difference for another student in the way someone made a difference to me. Clark College has supported me, so I am glad to support Clark and the many possibilities it opens up for the people who come here.”
Your gift can make a difference in someone’s life just as it did for Amanda. Make a gift to The Clark Fund and encourage others to do the same so that the Penguin Nation can continue to open doors for more students.