During the first few years of college, I served as a leader within the Black Harvard community, explored a diverse set of business opportunities, and created space for an art form that has never before demonstrated a presence on Harvard’s campus. At the same time I have served on the board of the Black Men’s Forum, landed work at industry-leading businesses, and organized and performed at the first hip hop concerts in Harvard history. In the summer of 2019, I interned at Sony Music with Business & Legal Affairs and Bain & Co. as a Building Entrepreneurial Leaders (BEL) intern, all while producing, writing, and composing my sophomore solo album, Invictus, which I released in the fall of 2022 and spurred my invitation to join Cage Riot Music Group. Between my consistent attention to album production and strong engagement with business development and management, this summer offered me an accurate sense of how I will operate in my professional career: a full-time recording artist, entrepreneur, and business executive.
My proudest moment at school was performing at YardFest, Harvard’s annual spring concert. After winning a campus-wide battle of the bands-style competition to secure an opening spot at the concert, I (Mike) and my two partners (Lincoln; Tobias Defoe) set the stage ablaze for a crowd of over 2,000 and I can’t wait to rekindle that fire on bigger stages across the globe.
My favorite memory of St. Bernard's takes me back to my first day at the school, in seventh grade. Being the new kid, I expected a gradual welcoming into the student body. Yet from the moment my homeroom teacher, Mr. Hurd, introduced me to our class, my classmates went out of their way to make me feel like a part of the St. Bernard's family. As a case in point I think back to the time I was standing in a corner on the recess deck, kicking around a soccer ball, and then my classmate Dylan--one of my closest friends in the world ̶ walked over to me, introduced himself, and told me it was great to have me at the school. From my very first day at St. B's, I came to see it was a school filled with exceptionally kindhearted and considerate young people.
My favorite class was eighth grade Advanced Latin. Mr. Hauser's class presented me with a combination of challenge, humor, and excitement. I have never enjoyed Latin as much as I did under Mr. Hauser, despite attending that class for only the last month and a half of my St. Bernard's career.
Mr. Hauser, Mr. Hurd, and Mr. Pennoyer are the first teachers that come to mind when I think of St. B's. Each of them contributed to my St. B's experience immensely and each in his own way. Mr. Hauser blessed me with my favorite class at St. Bernard's, and thus, my strongest sense of what it means to provide a good education. Mr. Hurd, having suggested the opportunity and completed the bulk of its application himself, afforded me an unforgettable summer school experience at Phillips Exeter Academy which opened my eyes to the prospect of boarding school. Mr. Pennoyer was so personally invested in my high school application process that he took the time to drive me to tour all the boarding schools on my list, and ̶ knowing that I was more interested in boarding schools than day schools ̶ spent countless hours persuading my mom to entertain that option. Without Mr. Hauser to show me the joy of learning, or Mr. Hurd and Mr. Pennoyer to not only inspire but also realize my high school experience, I’m unsure where I’d be today.
I advise current students to make the most of the resources they have in the remarkable St. Bernard's faculty. Of course, the lifelong friendships I made are invaluable, but I believe my teachers made my two years there so special. I can say with confidence that if a student needs some sort of assistance, be it academic, emotional, or social, the St. Bernard's faculty will be there to help. Students ought to know and take advantage of that.