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.”
Zaire Sims Spotlight
Several times during her years in high school in Cincinnati, Ohio, Zaire Sims and her family were homeless, leaving Zaire with no idea as to how she could afford college. Zaire’s dream of attending college came closer to reality when a science teacher her freshman year took notice of her good grades, effort, and willingness to learn. Read more about Zaire Sims.
Veronica Harris Spotlight
Veronica Harris didn’t always know that she wanted to be a dental hygienist. She received her bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice in 2010 from California State University, East Bay. “I was working as a juvenile counselor and was laid off from my job. I enrolled in a science course to keep me busy while I looked for work, and I became really interested in science and started to take more courses.” Read more on Veronica Harris .
Angela Frost Spotlight
Angela Frost always thought she would end up studying law. It is a field, she says, that touches literally every aspect of everyday life. After graduating from the University of Texas at Austin in 2012 with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance and a Bachelor of Kinesiology in Sport Management, Angela took two years off from school to re-focus and to make sure that law was the career that she wanted to pursue. Read more on Angela Frost.
Zack Bazile Spotlight
Growing up, Zack Bazile had always been involved in sports: soccer, football, rugby, baseball, wrestling and swimming. While attending grade school in Teaneck, New Jersey, during the summer, Zack’s mom enrolled him in track camp, a sport that he found he enjoyed very much. However, Zack’s path to becoming a champion long jumper hit a hurdle once he tried out for a track club team and participated in his first meet with the club. Read more on Zack Bazile.
Demetrice Allen Spotlight
Demetrice Allen excelled in high school as a gifted debater but coming from a single parent home and attending a Wisconsin high school that was in the bottom tier posed some challenges. “I didn’t have exposure to many different careers, so my background was so crucial to me being where I am today.” Demetrice’s journey to where he is today was one of new interests. Read more on Demetrice Allen.
Nima Dahir Spotlight
Originally from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Nima Dahir’s curiosity stemmed from her involvement in service and diversity activities in high school. “I was in the Student Council, was the president of the Interact Club, an organization dedicated to community service, and was a member of groups that focused on increasing understanding of diversity throughout the school,” said Nima. The same passion she had for service translated to her educational studies. Read more on Nima Dahir.
Shelby Newsad Spotlight
A love for nature is what inspired Shelby Newsad (pictured on right) to major in biochemistry. “I’m a very curious person at heart who adores nature and the outdoors. I took organic chemistry my sophomore year and fell in love with the illumination of life it brings. Understanding the natural world has always been an interest of mine, but with biochemistry it has become my career,” said Shelby. Read more on Shelby Newsad.
Kenneth White, Jr. Spotlight
After graduating in 1995 with a BA in Mathematics from Wayne State University, Kenneth White, Jr. knew that he wanted to continue his education, with the ultimate goal of obtaining a PhD. He had heard that only about 1% of the population has a PhD, and he added, “Being a black male, I wanted a PhD to be a mentor in terms of educational attainment.” Read more on Kenneth White, Jr.
Carlos Mendez Spotlight
Born to parents who emigrated from Puerto Rico to America, Carlos Mendez often struggled with his identity and belonging and found himself wondering how to succeed academically and socially. But with the help of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion’s (ODI) LASER program, Carlos found a place where he can relate to people just like him, and he wasted no time getting involved. Read more on Carlos Mendez.
Da’Quan Knuckles Spotlight
Da’Quan Knuckles believes in making a difference. “I just want to give back to my community and to the people who helped me. Without my community and family, I wouldn't be here,” he stated. This past January, Da’Quan was honored for his community work with the “Youth: Capturing the Vision of Dr. King” award presented at the 30th Annual Commemorative Celebration sponsored by the Ohio Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Commission. Read more on Da'Quan Knuckles.