Every year, the Harvard University Diversity Project accepts a handful of students into the highly-competitive 36-week program that helps prepare black students for “elite colleges and universities.” For the class of 2021, 25 students from the Atlanta area were selected to participate.
Under normal circumstances, the program has a grand ceremony at the end of the interview process that reveals which students made it in. But, because of the coronavirus, everything was done online this year. The program’s assistant coach didn’t want to leave this exciting moment up to a Zoom call, though, so he personally drove to each accepted student’s house to tell them in person.
The coach, Brandon Fleming spent 21 hours over the course of three days showing up to each student’s home to celebrate the enormous achievement. The students had no idea he was going to show up, either. He had set up a Zoom call with each of them, which they all thought was another round in the interview process.
On each call, he told the student he was in their neighborhood and to just come to the front door. Once they came to the door, he surprised them with a burst of confetti and the great news.
The students’ reactions were worth the hours it took to execute the surprise. Brandon told GMA, “They weren’t happy because they won a million dollars — that excitement came from an educational opportunity..Seeing their faces light up reminded me of what I was called to do.”
Brandon established the program in 2017 as a way to reach at-risk youth, because he was once one himself. He knows how important this program can be for these hardworking students, and he said, “I wanted their experiences to be magical moments they never forget.” It’s safe to say, mission accomplished!
Take a look at the students’ sweet reactions below! Be sure to share this with anyone else who could use a smile today, too.
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