Roger Wang is a proud BranchOut! parent of Marina and Victoria. Marina Wang, a current Dartmouth College student, served as a co-president of BranchOut! in 2019. Victoria Wang, a senior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, is a newly minted president of BranchOut! this year.
Roger shared the following with the BranchOut! community.
"Two of my kids have been BranchOut! mentors. For both of them, they experienced many “firsts” through BranchOut!—their first interview, first leadership position, first time working in a professional setting, and first time practicing the true independence of a young adult."
My older daughter Marina still remembers how nervous she had been during her application interview, only to join the leadership team later and have the opportunity to interview incoming mentors. BranchOut! proved to be a meaningful experience for her from engaging with younger students in the local community in STEM activities and education to developing various leadership skills and working in a professional setting. Today, she fondly remembers that experience.
Marina Wang (holding the microphone) presenting at the Fall 2019 celebration event
For my second child, Victoria, she truly “branched out” by stepping outside of her comfort zone. Before, she had been a kid who was too shy to ask for directions in public but since she joined BranchOut!, she has bloomed into an outspoken young adult who loves to meet new people and inspire younger students to find their own voice as well. Collaborating with many students, adults, and organizations through BranchOut! has provided her the learning experiences necessary for this gradual character transformation. The leadership, management, communication, and team-working skills both of them have gained through BranchOut! have also been highly applicable to other aspects of their life as well.
Victoria Wang leading a STEM activity at the Willston Multicultural Center in 2019
Both Marina and Victoria have discussed how grateful they are for the meaningful experiences and warm community they found through BranchOut! and we as parents are so happy to have witnessed their growth through this program.
Below is a personal message from Victoria to Dr. Wu, BranchOut!'s co-founder (permission obtained to post):
"Dr. Wu, I just wanted to thank you especially for all the time, dedication, and care you have put into BranchOut! as a whole and into cultivating me as a leader throughout these past four years. I really am amazed at how much I have changed from who I was in ninth grade when I first walked into BranchOut! all the way to the confident and outgoing individual that I am today. This experience of working closely with other students and adults in a professional leadership setting is one that is so rare to find in high school so I am beyond grateful to have been a part of this organization. I will miss you and the team so much!"
Check out the video Marina created with her BranchOut! teammates in 2020 on why people should join BranchOut!.