Cupcake Brown

by Melanie Rodriguez from San Diego

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What's the common hero? Having super powers or abilities that makes them unique or is there more to what a superhero really is? Many people may believe that she's not a  hero but for me she is. Cupcake Brown makes you stop and think "Is this what is really happening in the world?". Despite her troubled pasts, she has overcame a multitude trial tribulation and successively over time  developed into a successful lawyer. She may be a successful lawyer right now but she hasn't had the best past. "Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards."Brown grew up in San Diego, California, and enjoyed a fairly typical childhood up until age 11, when she came home one day to discover her mother lying dead in bed from an epileptic seizure. As soon as she was taken away from her stepfather and placed in foster care, her troubles began. As she recounts in her memoir, A Piece of Cake, Brown was given alcohol and was physically and sexually assaulted just within the first week in foster care. Cupcake Brown spent 14 years as a drug addict and prostitute after leaving an abusive foster home. Brown earned a degree in Criminal Justice administration, magna cum laude, in 1998 and then enrolled at the University of San Francisco School of Law, working four part-time jobs while attending classes full-time. As a litigator with Bingham McCutchen in San Francisco, Brown focuses on antitrust and trade regulation, securities and corporate governance, and white-collar crime. She's a lawyer who earns about 125,000 dollars which she has earned from her own sweat and effort.( "Cupcake Brown.")  A hero must possess hard work and be courageous. You need to work hard to be able to see the value in things instead of it just being handed to you.You have to be courageous in life because you will always be scared, but it's not the fear, it's about making the right choices in your life. Cupcake Brown possesses hardworking tactics and courage because she has gone through many difficulties in her life and has overcame them, therefore she is a hero.

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A hard working and self-dependent person outshines and becomes an an ideal for others. You can't get much done in life if you only work on days when you feel good. You have to suffer in your life for you to learn from your mistakes and make them better. Religious people say how God puts you through rough patches to make you stronger and because he knows that you can get through it. She began seeing her old friends again, whose influence dragged her back into her old self-destructive habits, but she was able to emerge from this period with renewed determination to fight her addictions. Using her faith to guide her, and relying on the support of her stepfather, Tim Long, and other positive mentors, she made it. ( "Cupcake Brown.") Even if Brown has got back to her old ways she still got back up with the help of God. It takes a lot of power to be able to get the strength of changing for yourself. When bad times happen one after another it can make you lose any kind of hope but the important thing is to always try to think that there's going to be better light in life. Brown then applied to five law schools and anxiously waited for the responses. The first four were rejections. "I thought all my dreams would go up in smoke," she recalls. "But I opened that last letter from the University of San Francisco, and girl, not only did they accept me, they gave me money."( HARPO PRODUCTIONS, INC. ) In times of hardships,we sometimes forget hope, letting go of opportunity. Brown may have been rejected and at one point almost lost her faith but a miracle came her way to getting into college and helping her financially. Nothing worth having comes easy. "I was a dopefiend-gangsta-thief-preteen-teenage-adult-prostitute-high-school-dropout-no-GED-card-carrying drunk. I had to make the choice to change my life. I had to want to change. So in addition to faith, it would take work--hard work--to change, [including] perseverance, determination, commitment and dedication." ( Holloway, Lynette R. ) She may have been many things but it wasn't too late to change and make a better person out of herself and not let her past define her. Sometimes you just need the rough things to happen for you to make a better you. You should rather want to be exhausted from the hard times that which breeds success."You do the footwork, and leave the results up to God."   ( Brown, Cupcake )  Such a short quote from Brown but so much meaning that makes you want to do better in life. You do the hard work in your life even if you trip on the way but in the long run you know you will have a light that will show you the way. Hard work takes time and effort.

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Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.How much can a person take before they start to believe they fear the future.Placed in a series of foster homes where she was repeatedly abused physically and sexually, Brown started running away and selling her body in order to survive. At 12 she joined a gang and started "doing what gangs do: rob, steal, fight."  ( HARPO PRODUCTIONS, INC. ) She was damaged and their was only one way to survive and she didn't know other way so she found the easy way. What's she thought was the only way but along the way she would do better.In the world there's smart or there's people that don't want to progress."Always remember the acronym for "FEAR" can mean one of two things: F***  Everything And Run or Face Everything And Recover."   ( Brown, Cupcake )She knew she can either do two things fix it or run away from her problems; fear can be a dangerous obstacle in your life because you may have two paths but you're life depends on which way you go. This is extremely good reflection because it takes a lot a strength to understand it and go through it.Does it take bad experiences to learn? Brown said that her experiences taught her courage--because "it doesn't take courage for that which you are not afraid to do." God, she added, saved her "for a sense of motivation and encouragement to others because I am so normal. God makes the impossible possible. So there are no excuses but you." ( "Cupcake Brown.") Many people have many fears but the big problem is being able to get passed those fears that can haunt you your  whole life or like Brown did she embraced her fear and with the help of God she did something to change her life.  If you want to become a better person believe that you're capable to do anything because you have faith in yourself. Have the capacity to do it even if it's hard and you had a rough past.Sometimes the leap of faith will get you somewhere.

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Cupcake Brown was an acutely hard worker and courageous and the way she went in life made her my hero. "I hope that my story is able to help women, but also men as well as boys and girls. It involves universal issues. For example, low self-esteem isn't a woman's issue. It's a human issue, as is self-doubt, lack of self-respect or respect for others, and numerous other human traits. My story is a people story, regardless of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief (or lack thereof) and educational or social economic background. Everyone is, has or will struggle with some type of personal issue. Everyone needs encouragement at one time or another. My goal is to hopefully inspire as many people as I can and to let them know that no matter what challenges they may face in life, they're not alone--and any challenge can be overcome."( Holloway, Lynette R. ) It's just not a story where she has a bad past and she get herself up. This is indeed happening  in the world and nobody says anything about. Everyone has struggles in the world and have to learn to move on and grow from them sometimes all you have to do is listen or learn from other people's mistakes.In addition, she is a popular motivational speaker and advocate for children's rights. Encouraged by a former professor to write about her life, she began setting down her memories but worried that the near-constant haze of drugs and alcohol in which she had lived for so long had distorted her recollections. Determined not to misrepresent what really happened, she talked to people from her past to corroborate details. She even hired a private investigator, whom she paid out of her own pocket, to confirm that events as she depicted them were accurate.  ("Cupcake Brown.") She wanted people to see that even if it seems you have no type of help you can still get through it but she didn't want people to see her differently. Isn't that everyone's fear, for people to see you differently? Like everyone goes through this even me. It takes a lot for a person to want to change when they have gone through a rough past and Cupcake has accomplished that and right now she such in a better place.

Work Consulted

Brown, Cupcake. Piece of Cake. Place of Publication Not Identified, Paw Prints, 2008.

"Cupcake Brown." Contemporary Black Biography, vol. 63, Gale, 2008. Biography in Context, Accessed 1 May 2017.

HARPO PRODUCTIONS, INC. "Phenomenal Woman: Cupcake Brown." Pardon Our Interruption, O, The Oprah Magazine, Sept. 2001, Accessed 3 May 2017.

Holloway, Lynette R. "A Piece of Cake: Cupcake Brown: one woman's story of courage and overcoming adversity." Ebony, Mar. 2006, p 28.

Biography in Context, Accessed 1 May 2017.

Page created on 6/1/2017 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 6/1/2017 12:00:00 AM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.

Related Links

A.K. Gray''s Blog - My Hero smiles big
Cupcake Brown Blog