Unsung heroes: Karvasha Brown
Students who have visited the Bobcat Food Court under the Maxwell Student Union building anywhere from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on a weekday have likely talked to Karvasha Brown. She greets everyone with a sunny smile, and students often make a point of stopping by to say hello.
“Karvasha has been really kind and sweet to me every since I’ve met her a year ago,” said Deanna Figueriredo, a co-worker alongside Brown. “She goes out of her way to help me with my job. Sometimes trays that need cleaning start stacking up, and she will do it without me asking for help. It’s really nice.”
Brown explained that she lives by the saying, “Be the best you can be.”
“The pastor at my church is a very influential person for me,” Brown said. “He makes me want to be the best me I can be because no one can beat me at being myself. We are all different, and that isn’t something be ashamed about. I tell that to the students that need to hear it, too.”
Brown’s positive nature exists outside of her work life as well. Her husband agrees with her customers and coworkers, saying that her approach to others makes her pleasure to be around.
“If I had to describe Karvasha in a few words, it would be as lovable, hardworking, dependable and trustworthy,” said Leconar Brown Jr., who has been married to Karvasha Brown for four years.
Sophomore Essence Darden, a regular at the food court, only has positive things to say about Brown.
“I often go to Chick-fil-A when I feel bad about something, and if I see Karvasha, I can trust her to make me feel better,” Darden said. “She is just so positive and makes sure I feel good about school, work or life.”
Brown uses her position to encourage students to live authentically, saying that people should be who they are, not who they wish to be.
“Many students try to be someone they aren’t,” Brown said. “They try to imitate what they consider to be popular, and that isn’t who they are. It pains me to see them do that to themselves.”
Brown also said she believes that her position puts her in a unique position in students’ lives.
“I’m not a parent figure or a friend that will judge them,” Brown said. “I’m impartial and gonna try to make them feel better, but it doesn’t always end up that way. Sometimes me trying to help makes them feel worse, and that sucks, but you can’t always fix every problem.”
A Columbus native, Brown has lived in Milledgeville for 21 years. When her previous job at Amedisys Home Health and Hospice Care ended in January 2017, she started looking for another job. She was referred to the Bobcat Food Court by Tabitha Franklin, her god-sister, who also works in The Max.
Brown said she tries to be as nice as possible to co-workers and students, but some employees make it difficult for her.
“I haven’t had any cases of incredibly rude students or people coming into my work area, but I have had a few employees not doing their job up to our standard,” Brown said. “It’s really rare, but I have had to tell employees to be more attentive. I understand their situation since I’ve worked in their position before, but they have to stay attentive while they work.”
Brown’s previous boss recognized that her diligence was an asset.
“My previous boss encouraged me to apply for a manager position,” Brown said. “They believed that my friendliness and positive nature would help me lead people to be excited to come to work.”
Due to her position in the Bobcat Food Court and her constant interactions with students of different majors and years, she has a unique insight.
“Any time a student comes in with a sulking expression, I tell them to cheer up,” Brown said. “Sulking doesn’t get anything done but waste time. If they feel like they can’t keep on the path they chose, I tell them to keep going. If they hit rock bottom, the only way is up. I have had students that openly acknowledged they have partied hard before a test, and then come in and be like, ‘I failed that test,’ while also talking about their night of drinking. When that happens, I tell them that they should have studied more and not have gone out. Sometimes they need a guiding hand that isn’t related by blood.”
Brown said that GC has not only offered her a job but has also improved her as a person.
“The job never gets boring because of the people I talk to on a daily basis,” Brown said. “Whether it is students or co-workers, it is full of laughter, and that laughter is what keeps me going. When the job gets super hectic, smiling and laughing through the rush is what lets me continue doing what I love, and that’s making people happy.”