I am pleased to announce the final appointment of the sixth Saybrook University Presidential Fellow, Mr. Ashanti Branch.
Ashanti Branch works to change how young men of color interact with their education and how their schools interact with them. Raised in Oakland by a single mother on welfare, Ashanti left the inner city to study civil engineering at Cal Poly – San Luis Obispo. A construction project manager in his first career, his life changed after he tutored struggling students and realized his passion for teaching. In 2004, during Ashanti’s first year teaching high school math, he started The Ever Forward Club to provide support for African American and Latino males who were not achieving to their potential. Since then, Ever Forward has helped all of its more than 150 members graduate from high school, and 93% of them have gone on to attend two- or four-year colleges, military or trade school.
Ashanti completed a d.school fellowship at Stanford in the 2015-16 school year and worked full-time on Ever Forward for the first time, in an effort to grow the organization to serve thousands of Bay Area students. This year The Ever Forward Club will be in 10 schools and the organization will serve over 15,000 through their "Taking Off The Mask" Workshops and professional development for Educators, parents and Corporate Teams. Ashanti can be found on Twitter at @everforwardclub. He and his students were also featured in the documentary "The Mask You Live In". View the trailer below.