GSPM Student Will Graduate with Master’s at Age 18

Adam Brown will be among the youngest students to graduate from GW in 2019.

Adam Brown
Adam Brown, 18, recently completed an internship in the White House and will soon graduate with a master’s degree in political management. (William Atkins/GW Today)
May 06, 2019

By Tatyana Hopkins

Adam Brown, a student in the Graduate School of Political Management, worked on his first presidential campaign at age 7.

“I remember hearing about this guy named Barack Obama,” Mr. Brown said. “I didn’t know who he was, so I went online and read about him and thought—that’s my candidate, and I’m going to work hard to get him elected.”

He asked his mother to take him to Mr. Obama’s local campaign office, where he volunteered making calls to voters across the country.

Mr. Brown’s interest with American presidents and the political process began in preschool. While making small log cabins for Abraham Lincoln’s birthday he wondered—what is a president?

“So, I went home and asked my mom, and she said, ‘Let’s go find out,’” Mr. Brown said.

She took him to a local library, where they spent hours reviewing books on presidents and collected too many to check out at once. Soon, Mr. Brown had memorized all of the presidents’ names in order of service and knew significant information about each one of them. 

Now, after finishing his first White House internship, Mr. Brown will graduate with a master’s degree in political management to pursue his political passions at an age most students are graduating high school and preparing for undergraduate studies.

At age 18, he will be among the youngest students to earn a degree at the George Washington University’s 2019 Commencement.

This year, the youngest of 12 students from School Without Walls High School to earn an associate’s degree from the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences is 17, and the university’s youngest bachelor’s degree recipient is 19 years old.

A Los Angeles native, Mr. Brown received his bachelor’s degree from UCLA in 2017 at age 16. Before that, he graduated from L.A. Mission College, where he was the youngest student to ever be enrolled in the school. He began taking classes at the community college when he was 8 and eventually served as student-body president before graduating when he was 14 years old.

“In third grade, I became bored with coursework,” Mr. Brown said. “But I loved school, and I loved hanging out with people my own age. So, rather than skipping grades, my parents said I should look into other options.”

After a meeting with Mission’s dean of academic affairs, Mr. Brown was cleared to enroll in courses after school and during summers. He did this for about five years.

But he said taking college classes did not stop him from being like many other students. In high school, he spent the beginning of his day taking classes at his local high school and the rest of the day in his college courses at UCLA.

“I was afforded the opportunity to take some classes and be a part of jazz band at my local high school,” he said. “I went to prom last year, and it was amazing.”

While in high school, Mr. Brown participated in Model United Nations, mock trial, marching band and a politics and government club. He also continued to work on various political campaigns.

Even in graduate school, he said, he has been able to have a normal college experience despite his young age.

“I have lots of friends my own age as well as those that are in graduate school,” he said.

While at GW, Mr. Brown joined the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and GW’s UNICEF club, which develops projects advocating for international youth.

After graduation, he plans to start law school in August and after graduation from law school (Mr. Brown expects to complete law school at 21), he hopes to work in education advocacy. 

 “I want to make sure students are getting the education they deserve,” Mr. Brown said. “My sister has severe special needs. So, I’m really passionate about special education as well as K-12 as a whole, and I really want to be an advocate for students and parents.”

As for his own presidential campaign, Mr. Brown said he cannot be sure. He said he is open to pursing education advocacy through any avenue, whether it be politics, as a lawyer or otherwise.

“You never know,” he said. “We’ll see.”

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