Joe Tavares_85x85It’s always funny when you meet someone and they are totally different than who you thought they would be.  Like when we found out the “Wizard of Oz” was actually just an old man hiding behind a curtain.

I bring up that example because I was in Boston this weekend, and got a chance to finally meet some of the Opportunity Scholar bloggers—Jesse, Khadijah and Duylam.  Like you all, I have been reading about their first six months in college, and feel like I’ve really gotten to know them (Duylam is a born entrepreneur, Khadijah is a time management guru, and Jesse loves burritos). But still, I wasn’t sure what they’d be like in person, and if we would all click right away.

Boy was I wrong!

By the time we sat down for brunch at the S&S Restaurant in Cambridge (definitely check it out if you’re ever in town!), it was like a reunion of old friends. Jesse and Duylam talked about wrestling in high school, Khadijah and Jesse told us how easy it is to get lost in Harvard’s library, and food was a great common denominator too- group bonding over pancakes and bacon always works well! CSO_BostonOS

Jesse, Khadijah, and Duylam also took time during brunch to reflect about how much they have overcome as a group. Even as college freshmen, they have had unique opportunities their childhood friends who haven’t gone to college have not and never will. Yet, with these opportunities have come challenges, and we talked openly about how working hard is always the recipe for success.

As they talked about their first two semesters, I thought to myself about how the three of them are doing something very powerful- they’re serving as role models for high school students across the country to understand the college process better, and giving key advice so that others may follow in their footsteps.