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Division of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement

As a middle school student in Plainfield, Jamin Brako knew he wanted to explore STEM in college.

But no one in his family had attended college before, and many of his peers prioritized athletics over academics, so Brako didn’t have the roadmap to get there.

Then he was selected to participate in the Rutgers Upward Bound Math-Science program in 2017 – which is designed to motivate first-generation college students or students from under-resourced families to graduate high school and prepare for college – and a new world opened up to him. This fall, Brako, 18, is a first-year engineering student on a full ride at Rutgers-New Brunswick.