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Announcing 2023 Student Leadership Team

On Sunday, June 11th, BranchOut! student leaders met in the Vienna BranchOut! office to discuss plans for the upcoming 6/24 training event and the rest of the summer. The meeting brought together new and experienced BranchOut! leaders from across three states and ten different schools. The leadership team discussed the upcoming programs and schedules for the training event and built ideas on top of each other. Returning mentors were able to use previous years’ experiences to improve the program this year while training four understudy officers, Ava Song, Kevin Xue, Sarah Li, and Jai Arora.

Dr. Wu, co-founder of BranchOut!, used the meeting to announce the new leadership team this year. These students worked as understudy officers for over a year and are now ready to step up and lead the 2023 cohort.

Brian Zhou, rising 12th grade, TJHSST

Josh Soong, rising 12th grade, River Hill High School

Evan Wang, rising 12th grade, Montgomery Blair High School

Johnny Liu, rising 12th grade, TJHSST

Jayce Zhang, rising 12th grade, Reservoir High School

David Cao, rising 12th grade, TJHSST

Kavya Kuttuva, rising 11th grade, TJHSST

Richard Zhu, rising 11th grade, Richard Montgomery High School

Elizabeth Li, rising 11th grade, Oakton High School

David Liu, rising 11th grade, Virginia Episcopal School

Eric Duan, rising 11th grade, Glenelg High School

We also welcomed our two college interns this summer, Henry He and Ronny Gattuso, who are both rising sophomores at Syracuse University. Henry graduated from Langley High School while Ronny graduated from West Potomac High School in 2022, and they are excited to support BranchOut! this summer as a program lead and Innovator participant.

The team shared their ideas on what new actions could be done this year to boost efficiency and collaboration. Mentors also split into smaller groups corresponding to each program at BranchOut!: Tutoring, Innovator, The Explorer, and Career Panels. In these focused groups, mentors were able to consider new ideas and projects specific to each program to increase success.

Thank you to all mentors who attended the event and helped BranchOut! programs kick off stronger than ever this summer.

Below are a few testimonials from the two understudy officers in the meeting:

“The leadership meeting on Sunday was helpful and eye-opening. I learned much more about each program and met hardworking leaders from BranchOut!. Everyone contributed great ideas and a wonderful discussion. When I left, I definitely felt more assured and prepared for the start of the summer program.” - Sarah Li, rising 9th grade, McLean High School

“Being a part of the Branchout! leadership meeting on Sunday was truly an incredible experience. Engaging with so many talented and committed student leaders, each with their unique ideas helped me deepen my connection with Branchout!. The passion and creativity demonstrated by my peers were inspiring, and I’m so excited about the positive impact we’ll make together this summer!” - Kevin Xue, rising 11th grade, Chantilly High School

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