By Kristen Bailey
Brandon Gipson and Nigerian-born Oladipupo (Ola) Johnson both graduated from Georgia Tech in Spring 2018, with degrees in computer science and mechanical engineering, respectively. For both, it was community connections that helped lead them to Tech; the community they found here sustained them and was central to their college experience. But for Gipson, who came from a majority minority high school in Virginia, at times it was alienating.
Gipson was feeling what numbers show: Though Georgia Tech awards more engineering degrees to women and underrepresented minorities than any other university in the United States, black men comprise less than 5 percent of the resident student population.
To support black men at Tech, the school offers the African American Male Initiative, a University System of Georgia-funded initiative that provides academic resources, mentoring, and leadership training to enhance enrollment, retention, graduation and career placement.
The program began in 2011 with approximately 30 participants. Today, it counts 150 and has served more than 680 students since its inception. AAMI is based out of Tech’s OMED Educational Services, which is part of Institute Diversity.
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