Prepared for a Life of Purpose – A Grover’s Story

The more I get to know the rising generation of prospective college students, I’ve noticed two common characteristics among Generation Z’ers (that would be you). When it comes to your hopes for the future, #1 you want to do something big, meaningful, impactful and #2 you’re thinking of innovative ways to make your splash in society.

You see the need for more traditional forms of service, like missionaries and social workers, but you’re also able to make connections between the things you enjoy and are passionate about and how those things can help meet community and global needs. Like, developing an app to help charity donors stay connected with the people their money serves. Or constructing a robot that scales furnace walls in coal power plants (typically a manual and very dangerous job). Or maybe designing a beach wheelchair that allows the elderly and physically disabled to enjoy a true beach experience. All of these are real examples of things Grove City graduates have done.

Alumnus, Patrick Brown, is among those innovative world-changers. It doesn’t take a media ecologist to see that the rapid production of new media outlets is changing the way we think, act and interact with others. Cultural change is happening so quickly it’s hard to keep up, let alone pause to consider, “Is this really beneficial for society?”

Patrick knows there’s no stopping the train, so he might as well climb on board and fight for the conductor’s seat.

Patrick Brown (1)Patrick is a 2011 grad and is the founder and CEO of Liftable Media Inc., a conglomeration of media outlets that seeks to drive positive cultural change. Since its founding in 2014, Liftable Media Inc. has grown from nothing to one of the Top 50 largest digital media networks in the country.

That’s right, folks. In the five years he’s been out of college, he has managed to create one of the top 50 most influential media networks in the country.

So how did he get there? Did he major in “Large Media Outlet Leadership”? Actually, he was a History major. Seem totally unrelated? According to Patrick, the research skills he gained in the History department are essential to his job. Having a thorough understanding of the events that led to America’s founding and the way those events have shaped modern government and culture doesn’t hurt either – especially as his team reports on the political climate leading up to the 2016 Presidential Election.

It was also at GCC that Patrick had real-world opportunities to learn and practice leadership. As a Resident Assistant and as a leader of New Life Ministries, he learned how to identify and wield people’s strengths for a common purpose – the technique of truly effective leadership. Patrick now oversees a team of 70 employees, 11 of which are Grove City graduates.

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Patrick Brown ’11 and a few of his Grover staff members

So, why study at Grove City College? Patrick lives in Phoenix, Arizona, not exactly a hop-skip-and-a-jump away from Grove City, Pennsylvania. Though he admittedly says his parents were the driving force behind his decision to choose GCC, he now sees that “…the integration of faith and quality education is so unique. I don’t know of any schools that have something comparable… [Grove City College] opened my mind and challenged me.”

Maybe even more important than the quality of education, however, was the community of people. Being surrounded by people who want to talk about their faith and who see the connection between it and everything they do was transforming. “I made incredible friendships,” including his right-hand man at Liftable Media, Ford Jordan (almost every story Patrick told started with “When Ford and I…”).

Relationships with faculty were important too. Of History department Chair and his New Life adviser, Dr. Gary Scott Smith, Patrick says, “I respected him in so many ways, especially for how much time he spent outside of class doing charity. He wasn’t a nominal adviser – he was so active in ministry and service. I don’t know how he also wrote a book every year on top of teaching and serving!”

Patrick says that in many ways, he modeled his company after the community at Grove City, “…we genuinely care for our readers. As a staff, we value creativity, because we’re all created in the image of God who is the Creator. They have the freedom to experiment and fail, because failure is not a bad thing. It’s what helps us learn.”

I asked Patrick what advice he had for you, “When you’re looking at colleges, be really careful about how the school is going to think about your faith – is it going encourage or discourage it? GCC encourages hard thinking on all subjects including faith. At some point, you’ll have challenges, and you’ll want the tools to be able to get through them. Oh and one more thing, go to Grove City!”

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