Profile: Kernard J.

Campus Organizing Academy / Houston, TX

“There has to be more than just the street corner — and if I can get out, if I can learn what’s outside of this community, I can possibly bring that back into the community to help more people get out of the endless cycle of going to the streets, or going to jail, or possibly even ending up in the grave.”

Kernard first got involved with OFA when he attended a Campus Organizing Summit in 2016. While only a freshman at Texas Southern University, Kernard’s high motivation and infectious passion for organizing had an immediate impact on his peers at the summit, even though he was one of the youngest students in attendance.

Inspired by the other student organizers and motivated to take on new challenges, Kernard enrolled in the OFA Campus Organizing Academy, a six-week program designed to help students take their organizing to the next level. “I am a 20-year-old who remains absolutely optimistic about the future of this nation,” he said. “I want to do whatever it takes to provide equal opportunity for all Americans. I also want to gain more experience so that in the near future I could run for office and represent people on a greater level.”

Kernard not only excelled in the Campus Organizing Academy, he leaned on the skills and insights he learned from the program and from his OFA coach, Robin, to run a successful campaign for the Student Senate in his university’s Student Government Association. Going forward, Kernard plans to apply his new organizing skills to start more local initiatives that will help folks in his own community. Eventually, he sees a future for himself in politics, possibly even elected office — and there’s no doubt he’ll be able to get there.