Khari Brown, G01
Khari Brown joins kids on a team building exercise.
Graduate alumnus Khari Brown is steering underprivileged kids to
It's been a long time since Khari Brown, A94, G01, made his living as
a basketball coach. But he relies on what he learned in this role every
day as the executive director of Capital Partners for Education, a Washington,
D.C.-based nonprofit organization.
"Coaching was probably the best education I had for being an executive
director," he says. "It helped me to understand how to work with
people and inspire them. It taught me how to maneuver in difficult situations,
how to think on my feet, and all of the aspects of leadership that I needed
to have to be successful."
Before joining Capital Partners in 2001, Khari Brown played professional
basketball in Europe. The former Tufts basketball team standout returned to
the United States in 1995 and began working as a personal trainer soon after.
A year later, Brown embarked on his coaching career, first as an assistant
coach for the Tufts basketball team and then as coach of the Medford,
Massachusetts high school junior varsity team.
Capital Partners for Education, which was founded in 1993, provides talented
low-income high school students with scholarships to attend private college
preparatory schools, the opportunity to work closely with volunteer mentors,
and academic support in the form of study skills workshops. Students are also
eligible for a number of enrichment opportunities, including college planning
workshops and Princeton Review SAT preparation classes.
"These are motivated kids who probably wouldn't go to college if they
weren't part of our program," says Brown, who earned a master's degree in
education from Tufts in 2001. "Of the kids who complete the program, 97
percent of them end up going to college. We're sending students to college
at about three times the rate of some D.C. schools working with a very
During a typical day, Brown meets with current and potential donors, helps
plan and manage fundraising events, interviews prospective employees and oversees
the organization's six-person staff, as well as its core of more than 150 volunteers.
And while he's no longer a coach, basketball is still a part of Khari Brown's life.
"I don't have time to coach anymore. I really wish I did," he says.
"But I still play basketball in some leagues and I do other sports
like weight training, biking, and things like that."
Article by Robert Bochnak, G07, senior writer/communications
manager, Office of Graduate Studies
Photo by Melody Ko
This article originally appeared in the fall 2008 edition of
the magazine for Tufts Arts, Sciences, and Engineering graduate alumni.