Alum Brandon Santiago Gives Back Through Poetry

Thursday, March 17, 2016
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE -- “I started picking up chairs and sweeping floors,” he says. He eventually facilitated groups, coordinated outreach and joined the staff. “If you’re a young boy who’s made a lot of mistakes and you’re also charming, usually you’re seen as a con man,” Santiago says. “At Youth Speaks it was like, ‘We see something else in you. We see the ability to connect as an educator and a mentor.’” By trusting Santiago, Youth Speaks empowered him to trust — and believe in — himself. He went on to earn a bachelor’s in cultural anthropology from San Francisco State and an academic scholarship to the University of San Francisco, where he is completing a master’s in international and multicultural education. He uses his leadership skills daily at the Future Project, directing programming for teens.