Jevon Brown has worked at Tractor Supply since he was 16 years old. Now, at the ripe old age of 21, he’s a manager at the Fort Oglethorpe store.
On the side, Brown attends the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga where he studies criminal justice.
The same thing Brown loves about his current job – meeting customers, getting to know people face-to-face – is what informs the rest of his life, too.
"I really like helping people. I have a tendency to help people even when they don’t want help," Brown laughs. He plans to go through police academy after graduation and is contemplating a graduate degree in forensics.
"I considered becoming a surgeon," Brown says, "but that would have been a long route. Once I’m a little farther along in my education, I’ll have more knowledge and understanding and will be able to make more specific decisions about what I want to do."
Brown’s work ethic is rooted in the example set by his parents.
"My mom was really young when she had me – only 16," he said. "My dad was in college, playing football for Tennessee State University, but he quit to take care of my mother and me. He went to work for the post office and now works in corporate in Donelson, Tenn. My mom took a job in the mailroom at Tractor Supply and worked her way up to merchandising and store planning."
Seven months ago, Brown became a Christian. He serves as a youth leader at his church and is also part of the "connections team" that greets church members and visitors as they arrive for services.
"Our youth group is going to camp at Laguna Beach this month, and my two younger brothers are coming along," says Brown. "I’m really excited about that."
Brown says he’d like to go on some mission trips one day. "I’d like to start here in the States, maybe Louisiana, and learn from other people before going farther."
Brown says the advice he gives kids he mentors and that he thinks is good for all young people is, "If you’re down or depressed, don’t fill that empty space with addiction or lust. Fill it with family, friends and God. Drugs only keep you happy for a little bit. Family, friends and God keep you happy for a long time."