Growing up in Boston, Hezekiah Branch, dreamed of becoming a Jumbo. So, he was elated when he received his acceptance letter and financial aid award. “Financial aid was one of the reasons I felt so confident in coming here,” he shares. Another experience that solidified his choice? Branch met current undergraduates at Jumbo Days and learned about opportunities for civic engagement and social justice. “I liked the emphasis on academics and community involvement. Students weren’t only talking about change in the world, but also finding ways to take action.”
This idea of using your experiences to help improve the lives of others has inspired Branch. Through the Tisch Scholars Program, he is learning how he can use his background in computer science and data analytics to empower communities to create change. He is involved in Peace Games, a Medford after-school program that promotes team building, problem solving, and peace-making skills through games and discussion. He also works part-time as a university recruiter for Jopwell, a start-up that helps connect black, Latinx, and Native American students and professionals with America’s leading companies. Because of his involvement, Branch was selected by Forbes to attend the magazine’s Under 30 Summit last year.
On campus, the Africana Center is his home away from home. He made most of his favorite first-year memories there, from enjoying midterm study breaks to organizing a campuswide anime viewing night.
Now a sophomore, Branch is exploring career options, planning to travel, and contemplating research opportunities. And as he seeks out new experiences and shares what he has learned, he is inspiring others around him to do the same.