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 California Polytechnic. As a successful construction project manager, his life changed when he began tutoring struggling students and realized his passion for teaching.
In 2004, he started the Ever Forward Club to provide support for African-American and Latino males who were not achieving their potential. Since its inception, the Ever Forward Club 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, join the military, or enter into trade school.
Ashanti was featured on NPR’s All Things Considered and the Ever Forward Club was featured in the documentary The Mask You Live In, which premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival.