RuQuan "Ru" Brown, a 17 year old senior at Theodore Roosevelt High School in Washington, DC has laser focus. He is killing it in the classroom as college looms in the balances with a 3.9 grade point average at the number one academic high school in the city. To add, Brown has scored a 1320 on his SAT, a feat that is hard, especially for inner city youths that have less resources available to help them succeed on standardized tests.
Ru Brown is also a standout athlete in track and football, running a 4.3 40 yard dash. If that wasn't enough, Brown is also an entrepreneur in his community, operating a clothing line that is addressing gun violence called Love1.
His academic accomplishments have not gone unnoticed. Brown has 24 college acceptances, 16 of which come along with full ride scholarships. He was also accepted to 7 Ivy League schools, the cream of the crop when it comes to higher education attainment. Some schools he has received offers to are Howard, Georgetown, William & Mary, Cornell, and Harvard just to name a few. Speaking of Howard, Brown credits the university for his exposure to college. He attended the middle school that is on the university's campus while his dad was attending the school to become a dental hygienist.
The inspiration for Love1 came in September 2017, when Brown's teammate and friend was murdered. A little over a year later, his step father was killed in Tulsa, OK. Through the tragedies, Ru stayed focused on school and wanted to make a difference. From this focus, Love1 was birthed earlier this year.
Ru said in an interview, “My company is called Love1. I started it to honor the lives of my teammate and step dad, who were murdered a year apart. I wanted to beat gun violence to the punch so that our families don’t have to continuously fall victim to tragic losses." Of the proceeds received by Love1 donates 20% to One Gun Gone. This is an organization based in New Jersey that buys guns from communities in the state and turns them into art.
Brown further said, “We’re eliminating a small fragment of the problem in order to reduce the amount of our loved ones being taken from us. My step dad took me to my first ever football practice. He would have me do 100 pushups a night starting at age 7. I never understood the importance of this until middle school when my body was physically mature compared to my male peers. He taught me the importance of working when nobody is watching. That is how you come out on top; doing the hard work in the dark.”
While Ru has not decided exactly where he is going to attend school just yet, he is on mission to show everyone that his brain as an academic will take him further than his legs as an athlete. Brown is a scholar, an entrepreneur and an activist planning to major in business and minor in African American studies.
This is pure Black Boy Joy. Keep up the amazing work both inside and outside the classroom RuQuan.