When incoming freshman Kevin Yang learned he was accepted to Harvard College, he quickly wrote and thanked one of the people who helped him the most — Tri Huynh. As a Harvard student, Huynh, now a teacher in California, tutored Yang once a week at Harvard’s Education Portal in Allston.
Opened in 2008, Harvard’s Ed Portal serves as a cooperation agreement between Harvard and the city of Boston to bring the University’s greatest strengths of teaching and research to the Allston-Brighton community.
For Yang, who moved many times during his middle and high school years, the Ed Portal was a constant. “We’ve lived all over Massachusetts, and moving so often was difficult,” Yang said. “High school was very stressful, and writing my college essay helped me reflect on my identity.”
While Yang’s parents worked — his mother is a nurse and his father a scientist — Yang’s grandparents drove him back and forth from the Ed Portal several times each week. These days they drive his younger brother Neil there for his mentoring sessions.
Noting his parents high regard for education, Yang said: “You’re always stepping on the backs of your parents to go further. Getting into Harvard is a new experience for all of us — it has been a roller coaster ride. At the end of the day, they are proud of me.”