By Amy Xiang
July 1st, 2020
Moving from the quiet suburbs of Bradenton, Florida to the vibrant metropolis of Philadelphia for college was just the change that ACLP Curriculum Developer Obed Antoine needed.
During a visit to Penn in his junior year of high school, Obed fell in love with the city’s busy and active environment, as well as the school’s diversity of people and interest.
“Everybody seemed to be interested in something different and unique, and I found that there was a huge community of people who were motivated to do something new and innovative. That was very, very enticing,” Obed said.
Now, as a junior in the Wharton School studying finance and real estate management, Obed is involved in Pi Kappa Alpha, Consult for America, and the Wharton Undergraduate Real Estate Club, and he has his eyes set on working in either commercial real estate or investment banking after graduation.
Fittingly, he has spent much of the summer before his junior year preparing for the job recruitment process, which usually takes place the summer before senior year. This kind of work ethic, Obed said, was ingrained in him at a young age.
“My parents taught me a host of fundamental character traits such as respect and kindness. As immigrants from Haiti, they also stressed the importance of hard work and finding what I'm passionate about,” Obed said.
Aside from academics, another one of Obed’s passions is fitness, especially weightlifting. Although he has managed to exercise everyday, even in lockdown, Obed is excited for gyms in Bradenton to reopen so he can get back into his routine.
Obed has also spent this summer hanging out with family and friends (although their usual bowling nights have been replaced with movie nights), watching YouTube, listening to audiobooks, and getting into meditation.
As for his involvement with ACLP, Obed joked that the “stars aligned” to bring him here. Working with an organization geared towards volunteering and mentorship was something that he always wanted to do, but he just hadn’t found the right opportunity yet. Then, with the COVID-19 pandemic, Obed found his summer freed up and decided to do something meaningful and productive with his time.
Both of these reasons, combined with the current social and political climate in the US, particularly surrounding members of the African diaspora, is what brought Obed to the team as the curriculum developer.
“As a curriculum developer, I’m really excited to see how the curriculum actually plays out in the classroom, how it's applied, and how effective it is in helping students reach their goals,” Obed said. “I think it will be very satisfying, once the curriculum is all set and done, to give students a framework for how to learn in a productive environment.”
AMY XIANG is the writer for African Community Learning Program (ACLP) and a sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania, where she also writes for The Daily Pennsylvanian and 34th Street Magazine. To support African Community Learning Program, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.