Women’s History Month Employee Spotlight: Meet Kaelyn Brown


Kaelyn Brown’s journey unfolds like a captivating saga, an exemplification of navigating life on one’s own hook. Growing up in Cleveland, Kaelyn’s upbringing was shaped by the unique experiences and challenges of being a first-generation college student. From her early days navigating the halls of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District to her later education at Shaw High School in East Cleveland, she embraces her roots with a sense of pride and honor. “I am proud to be from Cleveland. As the oldest of four, I try to set an example to my younger siblings of being proud of where you’re from.”

While obtaining her Bachelor of Science in Psychology at Ohio University, Kaelyn encountered obstacles and setbacks as a first-generation college student having to navigate the college process on her own. Kaelyn’s spirit remained unbroken, fueled by a determination to overcome adversity and pursue her dreams. Her proudest achievement, speaking at her college graduation ceremony as a first-generation college student, stands as a poignant reminder of the transformative power of education and the boundless potential that lies within her and the strong women who came before her. “My mantra is ‘standing on the shoulders of giants’. Everything I’ve accomplished comes from inspiration by all the women that came generations before me,” she says.

It is no surprise that Kaelyn works in education today, as she’s always had a pedagogical spirit. As a high school student, Kaelyn interned in the science labs at Case Western Reserve University and even helped graduate school students study their science projects. “I feel like we need to empower women to be more comfortable in science and math” she says. Kaelyn has always been a self-proclaimed “science kid” and is motivated by a fervent desire to upraise minority women in the realm science and business, including herself.  

Kaelyn is currently participating in the Forte launch program, which is specifically aimed at guiding women through the steps of earning their Masters in Business Administration (MBA). Through this program, she is actively working towards her MBA degree, motivated by her vision of promoting greater diversity and inclusivity within the business realm. With her sights set on prestigious institutions such as the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, New York University Stern School of Business and Dartmouth Tuck School of Business, Kaelyn’s journey is poised to serve as an inspiration for aspiring business leaders everywhere. She recalls applying to University of Pennsylvania for grad school in 2021, and not getting in. “Working though that adversity, building myself back up and understanding what happened really helped me in my process of getting back out there and working on my MBA process. Through that process, I learned that the program I wasn’t accepted into ended up not being what I want to do, so it was a blessing in disguise,” she reflects.  Through her commitment to excellence and her dedication to breaking down barriers, Kaelyn is destined to make a lasting impact in the world of business and beyond. 

At College Now, Kaelyn’s pivotal role within the GEAR UP program allows her to pay it forward, empowering students to unlock their full potential and pursue their aspirations with confidence and determination. “I see myself in a lot of the students College Now serves. Even on my worst days, knowing that I’m having an impact just by being myself is really important. At the end of the day, the biggest reward is being yourself and seeing the cash-out,” she says. Beyond her professional endeavors, Kaelyn finds joy and fulfillment in her love for cooking, using food as a means of fostering connection and celebrating the rich history of her heritage. She is working on establishing her own food business, Kae’s Kitchen, and is writing three cookbooks! 

As Kaelyn’s journey through life continues to unfold, her story serves as a reminder that every setback is an opportunity for growth. With each challenge she faces, she finds the strength to lift herself up and continue forging ahead toward her dreams. Despite facing numerous obstacles along her journey, her unwavering determination has driven her onward. Ultimately, she has become a “giant” herself, providing a sturdy foundation upon which future generations can stand and strive for greatness.  As she embarks on the next chapter of her journey, Kaelyn’s resilience promises to carry her to even greater heights of success and fulfillment.