Skip to content

Volunteers, board members sought for IRON Lives program

  • Share:
February 11, 2020
Lynchburg VA - Do you ever wonder what you can do in your community that really makes a difference in young people’s lives?Derrick Brown pondered that thought ­­ 10 years ago, as well.
As a first-year high school biology teacher at Amherst County High School, he saw two types of students he felt compelled to help.

One was students with immense talent and potential, who were choosing to waste that talent and the other type was students who were good kids, but just didn’t have the vehicle to take them to greatness.
Brown decided to forego his aspiration and plan for dental school to focus on being in a place where he could mentor those students and hopefully make a difference in their lives.

Brown founded IRON Lives, Inc., a nonprofit mentoring program that is now embedded in schools throughout Lynchburg City, Amherst County and now Bedford County. “IRON” stands for:  I'm Responsible for Overcoming Negativity. “Our mission is be a bridge between students and the community by providing positive youth development, committed mentoring, and character centered athletics,” Brown said.

After graduating from Virginia Tech with a B.S. in Biological Science, Dr. Brown received his Doctorate in Leadership Studies from Lynchburg College in 2018. For three years he served as principal at Paul Laurence Dunbar Middle School for Innovation where he brought the school to accredited status and the school was named the Best Public School by Lynchburg Living in 2019. This year, Dr. Brown returned to Amherst County High School as Principal.

During 2017-18 the IRON Lives team reached more than 250 students with their mentoring program and as the program grows there are more opportunities to recruit board members from the community who are passionate about changing young lives.

Heading into our 10th year, we've been able to hire two permanent employees, are building the board and expanding our fundraising.  Our 10th Anniversary Dinner, hosted in early December, was very successful where the business community (Pacific Life and Foster Fuels) and guests  were generous in their giving, showing faith and commitment to this program's mission.
Board member Bob Scheppegrell shared “I am excited to help Derrick and the team continues to expand the impact IRON Lives is having on the young leaders of our community.  Pacific Life is proud to fund a grant in support of this growth, and we look forward to sponsoring the upcoming 5K event.”
Persons interested in becoming involved with the program may email or go to for more information and to see current board members and team leaders.

Scroll To Top