Recently honored by the Chesterfield Public Education Foundation as one of the recipients of the 2012 Bravo! Awards, Terrell Brown said being home and visiting with former teachers was better than any Emmy nod. Brown, 25, has been a correspondent for CBS News, based in New York, since 2009. He was hired as its youngest correspondent in its New Development Program. A program designed to develop the next generation of producers and correspondents. Brown garnered Emmy recognition among Los Angeles area television stations from his extended coverage on the campaign trail during the 2010 California State Elections for Los Angeles CBS affiliate, KCBS-KCAL Television. A graduate of the Matoaca High School Class of 2005, Brown will represent the fourth class of outstanding Chesterfield County Public Schools alumni to be honored with the award.
During his trip home, Brown was able to visit Manchester, Matoaca and Chesterfield Community high schools to talk with several classes about his story and to encourage the students to follow their dreams. “Is there something in your heart that you want to do,” he asked the students at Chesterfield Community, his final stop during his visit. “I am a living, breathing example that you can have the desires of your heart.”
Brown gave a brief overview of what his days are like, sometimes working 12 to 14 hours a day; sharing that he had just finished a 27-day span with no days off due to the presidential elections. “I work that hard because I know as long as I am writing and as long as I am on TV, I will do better.”
Brown has covered a variety of assignments from the BP Gulf Oil Spill, tornadoes in Joplin, Missouri and Tuscaloosa Alabama, the attempted terror attacks on the United States in Detroit and New Your City, deaths of Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston; from hard news to entertainment news like the 2011 Academy Awards in Los Angeles and the 2010 Super Bowl in Miami.
“You’ve got to be ready,” he said. Brown’s readiness came from his early desires of journalism; starting a newspaper at the age of 10, working at a radio station at the age of 12, starting a TV station at Matoaca during his freshman year. He worked hard and had passion for his work.
He also talked about failure. “Know that you will fail,” he said. Brown did hit a low point in his life when he received a bill from Syracuse University for $30,000 for his college tuition knowing that his family could never afford that. He quit, thinking that maybe college was not what he was suppose to do, even after finding out it was a clerical error.
Brown decided not to give up, and returned to school that semester at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). He graduated with honors and was the recipient of a prestigious alumni award presented by the faculty. The nation Press Club also awarded Brown with a full-term scholarship for broadcasting excellence in television. While attending VCU as a freshman, Brown worked full-time for WWBT-TV NBC 12 as the weekend morning anchor and after one year launched a Saturday morning show as its producer. Brown’s breaking news coverage helped earn the station an Edward R. Murrow Award in 2009.
Brown told the students to be yourself. “You can go out and do incredible things,” he said. “Do the best job that you can personally.” And finally he said to take time to enjoy. “Make sure that at this point in your life that you try to find a way to have some fun. Give yourself an opportunity to enjoy.”