Current Scholar Spotlight: Bryson McEachin
Growing up, Bryson McEachin thought he wanted to be a veterinarian. But once he got older, he realized that science wasn’t his thing. Having always been a good writer, a good reader, Bryson though he might try being a court clerk like his dad, but by his senior year of high school, Bryson realized that that wasn’t what he wanted to do. “What am I passionate about? What do I care about? I realized that I was passionate about New York City, its people, the communities, the Bronx, Harlem, Queens, and Brooklyn.” Thinking about a future career, Bryson wondered how that passion could be applied to college. His interests in advocacy, public office, and city government made Bryson think of political science. “I care about politics, and political science would be the perfect fit.”
Major decided, Bryson began to consider what colleges and universities he would apply to. His decisions were based on experiences he had attending high school in Winchester, Massachusetts, even though he was born and raised in the Bronx and now calls Harlem home. “I went there through a program called ABC, A Better Chance. It’s a program across the nation affiliated with high schools, boarding schools, private schools, even public high schools. They help bring students from the inner city and provide them with better educational opportunities at other schools.”
After being away for four years in Massachusetts, Bryson knew he didn’t want to go back to New York for college, but he still wanted a school with an urban setting and a fun and exuberant campus. “That’s what drew me to Ohio State. It is a big school with a lot of people, and it’s diverse, so you can meet people from all across the world and the country. And I’m a big sports fan, so sports did play a part!”
Once he got accepted, Bryson came to Ohio State to visit, and he fell in love with the campus. “All the people that I interacted with, the faculty and staff, they made me feel like they wanted me here. And it’s been a great decision.”
Towards the end of his senior year in high school, Bryson received an email from the Bell National Resource Center on the African American Male (BNRC) saying that he’d been accepted into their Early Arrival Program (EAP). The program brings Black male freshmen to campus a few days early to meet with mentors and each other. “I didn’t know what the BNRC was. At Ohio State, you don’t really think about Black students, so seeing other Black male students who are doing well, who are striving and are a close knit community, made me feel good about myself and that I could succeed here.”
Bryson credits EAP with making his freshman year a good experience. “If I didn’t do EAP, my freshman year would have been a lot different. I wouldn’t have met a lot of people including my best friends. And starting off the year with people you already know, that’s one less thing to worry about.”
Having such a positive experience during EAP, to pay it forward, this past year Bryson became a BNRC Ambassador, providing mentorship to incoming students. He was also part of the BNRC’s Leadership Institute and the Black Male Retreat last year, which was eye-opening. “I didn’t have it easy growing up because I grew up in a single parent household, but at the same time, I didn’t have it that hard. So hearing the stories from my friends at the BNRC, who opened up about their childhood, I realized how lucky I was.” This past autumn, Bryson was also a BNRC middle school mentor. “We helped the students with their behaviors, got their minds flowing about ideas, and taught and mentored them.”
Bryson also credits others for the important roles they have played in his life. “My great-grandmother passed away when I was 10 years old. She was the one who for birthday presents – usually kids get toys – bought me books. She stressed education for me, and my mom, too.” For Bryson, not going to college wasn’t an option. “I’m a fifth generation college student in my family, so I knew I was going. My great-grandmother tried her best to prepare me for that.”
While at Winchester, Bryson’s Resident Director, Jamoul, as well as his father, helped to prepare him to be a man. “They taught me that you have to take responsibility for your actions. Be self-aware. It’s ok to make mistakes, but don’t make the same mistake again. That helped me learn how to behave here at Ohio State.”
This summer, Bryson will be doing a study abroad as an intern to a member of the Canadian Parliament for five weeks. “I will be interning for a liberal MP, Ali Ehsassi. He focuses on human rights, and I’ll be working in his office doing whatever they need me to do.” Bryson will be living in Ottawa during that time with about 28 or so other students from Ohio State and other universities. When he returns from Canada, an internship with the Manhattan Borough president, Gale Brewer, will be waiting.
A sophomore, Bryson plans to graduate in the spring of 2020. His plans after graduation are something he’s “still working on,” but everything he’s done so far has been preparing him for a job in city government in New York City as an elected public official like a borough president or mayor. “The future doesn’t really happen as you expect it, so who knows what will happen and where I will end up, but in my mind, I want to work in NYC or for the state of New York.”
LaRazia Tolbert Spotlight
The neighborhood in Youngstown where LaRazia Tolbert grew up wasn’t the kind of place, she says, where people wanted to stay or come back to. “Where I’m from, no one says they want to return; everyone is trying to escape with no looking back.” But LaRazia looks at her community from a different perspective: she, too, wants to leave but only so that she can return and bring back what she has learned and better where she is from.
Alexis Myers spotlight
When she first came to The Ohio State University as a Young Scholar, Alexis Myers never thought of herself as someone who could be a role model or a mentor. Little did she know that at Ohio State, Alexis would become an Academic Success Partner within the Young Scholars Program. “When I came to Ohio State, I never thought of myself as someone who could be a role model or a mentor for anyone else, but when this opportunity came to me, I knew I needed to take advantage,” she said. Read more about Alexis Myers.
Kyla Wilson spotlight
Kyla Wilson has put a lot of thought into her career path. “I always wanted to be a doctor or a lawyer, but I hate science so that didn’t work. As for the law, I like reading, but law just bored me!” Her uncle would tell Kyla, who was good at math, that since she was in the fourth grade, she should know her multiplication tables. “He made me work in a composition book every day over the summer.” By the end of the summer, Kyla was hooked, and she knew that arithmetic was going to play a part in her future.
MiChaela Barker spotlight
Through the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Program, The Ohio State University and 10 additional Ohio colleges and universities are helping to increase underrepresented student success in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. As one of 78 LSAMP scholars on the Ohio State campus, MiChaela Barker has found a community that not only understands her on a cultural level but on an academic level as well. Read more about MiChaela Barker.
Shelly Martin spotlight
If there is one thing that Shelly Martin has learned, it is that education can light up a dark world. And when she realized that her passion was people, she combined those two certainties into her life’s work and purpose. Read more about Shelly Martin.
Zaid Hightower spotlight
The spring before Zaid Hightower was ready to begin classes at The Ohio State University, he received an email from the Todd A. Bell National Resource Center on the African American Male, inviting him to attend the Center’s Early Arrival Program (EAP). It was his mother who read the email and told Zaid that he needed to attend the program. Read more about Zaid Hightower.
Maya Prabhu Spotlight
The day in April 2013 that Maya Prabhu received the Morrill Scholarship will forever be etched in her memory. “It was a day of tears, hugs, and – most importantly – empowerment. Since that day, my experiences with the Morrill Scholars Program and the Distinction Scholarship have given me many tools and resources that I know will help me succeed in all areas of my life.” Read more about Maya Prabhu.
Daniel Moussa Spotlight
Daniel Moussa has long been interested in the sciences, and his background in sports has led him to focus on the “silent epidemic” of traumatic brain injuries (TBI), which are often the results of sports accidents. “As someone who plays sports, I am aware of the dangers of concussions, which are a type of TBI, and their long-term effects,” Daniel stated. Read more.
Ignacio Munoz Spotlight
After just one week at The Ohio State University, Ignacio Muñoz was confident that he made the right choice when choosing which university to attend. A freshman at Ohio State, Ignacio is proud to be a Buckeye because he knows that the university will provide him with a current platform to build upon all aspects of himself as well as become a future springboard to propel him into his career and adult life. Read more about Ignacio Muñoz.
Rolando Muniz Spotlight
Rolando Muniz always understood the value of and the need for diversity and inclusion. At St. John's Jesuit High School and Academy in Toledo, Rolando was part of the school’s 20/20 Program, which helps underrepresented students by providing financial aid and scholarship opportunities. The program also pays for students' ACT and SAT and college application fees – or any other needed test or document – and provides additional support such as jobs outside of school and volunteering opportunities. Read more about Rolando Muniz.