A Role Model for Baltimore's Youth
Through his work with UBalt's Early College Initiatives program and his own nonprofit, GoTACS Global Outreach, Olusegun (Segun) Aje, M.S. '17, is empowering Baltimore's youth through education and innovative programs.
IN THE CLASSROOM
UB's Early College Initiatives program helps local high school students get a head start on college through dual enrollment and college readiness programs.
Segun joined the initiative as an adjunct faculty member in 2017, and this summer, he taught a communities studies course to a group of high school students.
Although being a college professor has been a career goal for Segun, his motivation to be involved in the Early College Initiatives program stems from his own personal experiences.
"When I started my own college journey, I was initially kicked out of two colleges because of my poor academic performance," Segun says. "I had to build back up my confidence to continue pursuing a higher education, and that's what I try to for these young adults."
Students enrolled in the Early College Initiatives program participate in college-level learning that emphasizes critical thinking and analysis skills, collaborative work habits, independent thinking, and self-determination.
"The most rewarding aspect is being a role model for these students," Segun described. "We help them build their self-esteem early, so that they can tackle and embrace the academic rigor of college when they graduate high school."
IN THE COMMUNITY
With more than 13 years of experience working for nonprofit organizations, Segun saw a need in Baltimore to provide resources to marginalized communities.
Lacking the education and credentials he needed to start a successful nonprofit, Segun discovered UBalt's Nonprofit Management and Social Entrepreneurship program, a program that provides a comprehensive education that addresses not only effective management but the forward-thinking initiatives of social enterprise.
"The most rewarding part of my education was working with UBalt's professors," Segun says. "I had the opportunity to learn from knowledgeable, experienced, and passionate professors who are industry experts."
Nearing graduation in 2017, Segun was ready to launch GoTACS Global Outreach, a nonprofit focused on providing underserved communities necessary resources to become high functioning and self-sufficient.
"During my time at UBalt, I was creating strategic plans, evaluation plans, and HR development plans," Segun says. "I used every opportunity to bridge my classroom learning to what I was doing at my job. And now, I apply those same principles to my nonprofit."