Raised in Oakland by a single mother on welfare, Ashanti left the inner city to study civil engineering at Cal Poly – San Luis Obispo. A construction project manager in his first career, his life changed after he tutored struggling students and realized his passion for teaching. In 2004, as a first-year teacher, Branch started The Ever Forward Club as a support group for African-American and Latino males who were not achieving to the level of their potential. The club helps at-risk young men learn to get real and find the emotional support they need to lead successful lives. Of the students who have gone through his program, 100% have graduated high school and over 93% have gone on to 2 or 4 year colleges and universities. Ashanti is now Executive Director at Ever Forward - Siempre Adelante, a 2016 fellow at the Stanford d.school and was featured in the acclaimed film, The Mask You Live In.