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Tony Brown

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Journalist, businessman and comedian Tony Brown speaks to students gathered at Baton Rouge Magnet High School students and faculty this week. (Credit: Taylor Balkom) Journalist, businessman and comedian Tony Brown speaks to students gathered at Baton Rouge Magnet High School students and faculty this week. (Credit: Taylor Balkom)

By Albert Burford | LSU Student

Journalist and television host Tony Brown encouraged students to not only study hard and make good grades, but maintain strong character as he brought a time capsule worth of experience to Baton Rouge Magnet High School on Tuesday.

The award-winning host of the television show "Tony Brown's Journal" underscored to students the importance of effort in pursuing their dreams to students from a number of schools as well as the public. He showed footage of the Tuskegee airmen and detailed various episodes in his life as a "time capsule" from which people can learn and move forward.

Brown chronicled his childhood in Charleston, W.V., where he said he grew up broke rather than poor, since poor describes someone "acting poorly." Brown said he took inspiration from his mother, who told him he must make his own success.

In today's world, Brown cautioned, young people must be excellent, not just diverse, to reach their goals.

"Nobody can do anything for you because of the way you look or nobody can do anything for you because of your gender, but they must be doing what they should have been doing all along — give you a chance. And that's all you should ever want."

Brown said he is launching a website to memorialize 1,000 videos that chronicle 40 years of his television career. While unnecessary, he said he views the task as a challenge from which he can't retreat.

HE encouraged students to keep learning throughout their lives, using their knowledge to teach future generations.

"Write your own books. Create your own time capsule. When you're my age, come before a group of young people like I have this morning and tell them about your time capsule."

Brown also noted there must be a strong character to accompany "A-plus" grades if they wish to succeed. "There are good people all over the place and they don't come in colors. They don't come in genders. They come in character, clothed in goodness. You've got to have that with you."

A panel discussion followed featuring Sen. Sharon Weston Broome, East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff Sid Gautreaux, President of Baton Rouge Area Chamber of Commerce Adam Knapp, University of Phoenix Director of Student Affairs Lee Melancon III, East Baton Rouge Parish Student of the Year Anni Zhang, East Baton Rouge Parish School System Superintendent Bernard Taylor and Cox Communications Southeast Region Senior Vice President and General Manager Jacqueline Vines.

The panelists discussed their hardships, which they subsequently found to be "blessings in disguise," and how they grew from those difficult experiences.

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