CSU Grad, Council Member Plants Seeds of Support in Georgia County 2/13/2017 The great orator and civil rights leader Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. once said: “Life's most persistent and urgent question is ‘What are you doing for others?’ ” LeMario Brown is doing quite a bit to help others in his community in Peach County, Georgia, as a farmer, city councilman for Fort Valley and an executive director of Literacy Education for Adults in Peach (L.E.A.P.). “I think it is important for me to be a community leader because I am a product of my local community,” said Brown, who has served on the council for a year. “Born in Fort Valley, I went to high school in Fort Valley and finished my undergraduate degree at Fort Valley State University. Therefore, I feel a sense of responsibility to give back to my local community.” Brown, 31, is also a 2015 graduate of Columbia Southern University where he earned an online MBA in public administration. “My degree has helped me tremendously in my career. My MBA has given me the background and capacity to handle the job of financial chairman with my city and helped me with my farming business to understand how to make it more profitable,” he said. Brown believes his desire to serve his hometown is two-fold. “I do believe I was placed here for a particular reason and I am a role model for younger African-Americans in my community. I think God has placed me here to help the people in my community. By doing so, I feel complete. I feel a sense of accomplishment by being able to give back.” Brown added he really enjoys his work as a councilman and director of L.E.A.P. because both jobs allow him to aid “the well-being of mankind.” “Being a ‘homeboy’ [a local community member] makes my job much easier because of the close relations the people in Fort Valley have with each other; we believe in ‘common unity.’ ” He added that working to ensure literacy among adults in his hometown gives him a sense of enjoyment, too. “I am blessed with the opportunity to help individuals learn about modern technology, financial literacy and all new educational components of life,” Brown said. In fact, he is planning to combine this passion with another: farming. “I am looking to host a horticulture literacy seminar for local farmers to share ideas and learn more about the financial and operational aspect of living off the land in their own communities this summer,” he explained. Before that time, he will celebrate Black History Month and its importance. “It is important to learn the history of how we as a people got to this point and why it was so important for there to be a ‘Black History Month.’ ” Brown stressed that this month should have an impact on younger African-Americans as it honors the contributions of blacks in American history and shows how blacks such as George Washington Carver were so inventive. For those seeking to serve rather than invent, Brown shares this advice from another Georgian: “Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said it best, ‘Everybody can be great...because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace and a soul generated by love.’ ” About Columbia Southern University One of the nation’s pioneer online universities, Columbia Southern University was established in 1993 to provide an alternative to the traditional university experience. CSU offers online associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees such as business administration, criminal justice, fire administration and occupational safety and health. Visit ColumbiaSouthern.edu or call (877)347-6050 to learn more.