Phyllis Davis-Brown of Gaston College receives ‘Patriot Boss Award’

Upward Bound director was nominated by Navy Reservist staff member

On Thursday, July 29, Phyllis Davis-Brown, Project Director for Gaston College’s Upward Bound program, was recognized as a Patriotic Employer by the ESGR. The Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve, a program of the United States Department of Defense, is an organization that acts as a liaison for members of the National Guard or Reserve and their employers.

The Patriot Award reflects the efforts made by individual supervisors to support citizen warriors through a wide range of measures, including flexible schedules, time off prior to and after deployment, caring for families, and granting leaves of absence if necessary. Davis-Brown was nominated for the award by Cody Taylor, an Academic Advisor working directly with students in the College’s Upward Bound program at Bessemer City High School. Taylor is a Navy Reservist.

“Phyllis is the best employer that I have worked for,” said Taylor. “She is kind and compassionate and she puts all her effort into making sure that the students we serve through Upward Bound have everything they need to succeed.

“Additionally, this ‘Patriot Boss Award’ is for supervisors who offer the highest level of support for military reservists like me,” he continued. “She consistently showed me that support. I cannot think of anything more patriotic than working endlessly to lead children as they climb up the socioeconomic ladder, while simultaneously mentoring and supporting a reservist member of the U.S. Armed Forces.”

Davis-Brown was surprised at receiving the award. “Anyone who knows me knows that I do not care for recognition or acknowledgement—I prefer to stay in the shadows and give recognition to others,” she said. “My goal is to do everything in excellence with a focus on always doing what’s right, which also means supporting my staff as much as I can. Cody’s service for us and this country is most commendable, and the least I could do as his supervisor was to support him in that service.”

The mission of the Gaston College Upward Bound program is to create an inclusive, engaging, and innovative learning environment that increases post-secondary educational opportunities for modest-income, first generation, and educationally disadvantaged high school students who have a desire to pursue post-secondary enrollment upon high school graduation.

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