Institute Selects Class of 2021
WASHINGTON, DC, March 1 – Dr. William A. Keyes IV announces the admission of thirteen African American male college sophomores into the Institute for Responsible Citizenship class of 2021. The young men will participate in the Washington, DC-based program during the summers of 2020 and 2021.
Institute scholars live together in a residence hall at George Washington University, work at internships in their fields of interest, meet privately with prominent public and private sector leaders, take an academic seminar, participate in professional development workshops, and enjoy a variety of social activities.
The young men currently attend a range of colleges and universities and are pursuing a variety of majors. See their brief bios below.
Deon Ababio attends Yale University, where he majors in Statistics and Computer Science. He spends his free time working within the New Haven community as a tutor for the Urban Improvement Corps and as the curriculum head for Funbiotics, a program that exposes disadvantaged students to opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math. Deon has also worked as a data science intern at the Yale School of Medicine and with the Department of Political Science. After college, he intends to work as a data scientist. His hometown is Manassas, Virginia.
Michael Alonzo majors in Economics and Psychology at Swarthmore College. These dual majors follow his fascination with behavioral economics, where he combines analytical and rational analysis with a psychological background. He has already begun to do so as a Quantitative Analysis Intern on the behavioral science team at Clover Health. His hometown is Somerset, New Jersey.
Pierce Alston is a Computer Science major at Wake Forest University. During the Spring 2020 semester, he is enrolled in West, his university’s first cohort of students in an innovative semester program in the San Francisco Bay Area. While there, he is interning four days per week at Sage Digital in Palo Alto while taking classes one day. While at Wake Forest, he works twenty hours per week to help finance his education and participates in the Institute’s academic-year program in Greensboro. His hometown is Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Abel Berhan attends Harvard College, where he majors in Sociology and minors in African American Studies. He participates in the David Walker Scholars Program, which mentors middle school students, and the Black Men’s Forum. Following graduation, Abel hopes to attend law school and pursue a career as an attorney or policy maker. He has already begun to gain experience within these fields as an intern for the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, a policy analyst for the Education Policy Program at the Institute of Politics, and as an economic policy intern with the Center for Latin American Monetary Studies. His hometown is Seattle, Washington.
Rasheed Christian is the first University of Virginia student to participate in the Institute. He is a Public Policy major and an Echols Scholar. He serves as a lead mentor within both the Echols program and the University Achievement Award Program. Rasheed is also a member of Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity. After graduation, he intends to work in the public policy arena, principally on matters related to technology. His hometown is Lynchburg, Virginia.
Jaelen King majors in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology at Yale University and has served as a research intern for the Yale School of Medicine. He is also involved with the Black Men’s Union, Black Students for Disarmament, and the Yale Urban Improvement Corps. He intends to pursue a career in medicine. His hometown is Columbia, South Carolina.
Ryan Mijumbi is a recipient of the Presidential Scholarship, the highest merit scholarship at High Point University. He is a Psychology major and intends to pursue a career in child adolescent psychology following graduate school. Currently, he is heavily involved with student government as the Hearing Chair, a Student Justice, and a Senator. He is the first High Point student to participate in the Institute. His hometown is Gastonia, North Carolina.
Kyle Smith is a Presidential Scholar at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he majors in Public Policy with a minor in International Affairs. He serves as the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council member for the College of Liberal Arts. He also serves in student government as the Public Policy Representative and co-chair of the Cultural and Diversity Affairs Committee. Before attending Georgia Tech, Kyle was a Page for the Maryland General Assembly and a student member of the Maryland State Board of Education. His hometown is Waldorf, Maryland.
Yarayah St. Phard is the first student from Georgia State University to participate in the Institute. He is a member of the Honors College and majors in Media Entrepreneurship. He is a part of the Panther PRIME African American Male Initiative, and the Panther LEAP Leadership Program. After graduation, Yarayah intends to pursue a career in advertising, and hopefully manage his own advertising firm one day. His hometown is Atlanta, Georgia.
Christian Terry-Taylor studies Sociology, Economics, and Africana Studies at Morehouse College. He serves on the executive board of the Honors Program and is a member of the track and field team. He has participated in a wide range of experiences which include the Citi HBCU Innovation and Leadership Symposium, the Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA)
Leadership Symposium, and the Goldman Sachs LEAD Program. He has also interned with the Borgen Project. After graduation, he intends to pursue a career in academia as a Sociology professor and researcher. His hometown is Hempstead, New York.
Samuel Timmons attends the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he majors in History. He is a member of Honors Carolina, the Honor Court, and the Black Student Movement. He became familiar with the Institute through a program the Institute operates in Durham, North Carolina in partnership with the Alpha Tau Boulé of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity. After graduation, Samuel will pursue a career in law. His hometown is Raleigh, North Carolina.
Samuel Wey is a pre-med student double-majoring in Biochemistry and Spanish Literatures and Cultures at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has interned in the Glatfelter Biology Research Lab and is a member of the Neuroscience Club. After graduation he intends to
pursue a career in neuroscience. He has participated in the Durham Collegiate Institute since enrolling at UNC. He is studying in Spain during the Spring 2020 semester. His hometown is Charlotte, North Carolina.
Marc Younker majors in Political Science and Labor Studies, with a minor in Critical Intelligence Studies, at Rutgers University. He has interned in Senator Cory Booker’s Washington, DC office, on Booker’s 2020 presidential campaign, and with IMPACT Strategies, a political advocacy firm based in Washington, D.C. Marc intends to continue his work in the political realm after he graduates, particularly by emphasizing the importance of political involvement for African Americans.