Winning Futures grad takes new-found social confidence to Harvard

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T’Ajmal Hogue

If you were to visit a Harvard University freshman computer science classroom this year, you just might see Winning Futures graduate T’Ajmal Hogue chatting confidently with her fellow classmates.

If you had seen her as a sophomore at Cass Tech High School, she likely would have been standing alone. “I would excel academically, but that was really all I put my mind to, which made me less confident in social situations,” she said.

And it impacted her home life, too. “My family would say that I was more of a troublesome child and not very talkative before Winning Futures.”

She credits her mentor with her personal growth.

“She was very calm and allowed me to realize that I could be a strong woman within society. I just needed to work hard at my goals. I learned from her that kindness and determination are some of the best qualities to have.”

After completing Winning Futures, T’Ajmal began to believe in herself and set a goal to step outside of her comfort zone.

“I began to dedicate my life to service within the community,” she said. “I applied for a leadership position in my favorite community service club, BuildOn, and became the meeting leader during my junior year.”

She said she had performed more than 300 hours of community service with the club, which has made her much more comfortable in social situations.

Her mentor and her community service have helped her grow in another way, too. “I am more grateful for things that I have in my life today,” she said.