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Student strives to foster greatness in Northeastern community

Nov. 29, 2016 - BOSTON, MA. - Kyumon Murrell, BHS'19, poses for a portrait outside Kennedy Hall at Northeastern University on Nov. 29, 2016. Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

Kyumon Murrell is pretty busy this semester.

During the day, he works a full-time co-op job as a quality outreach coordinator for BMC HealthNet, an insurer that caters to low-income clients.

In his “free time,” he mentors a first-year student through the John D. O’Bryant African American Institute’s Legacy Mentoring and Leadership Program, serves as a resident assistant for freshmen in Kennedy Hall, and sits on the e-board of the Caribbean Students’ Organization.

All in all, these experiences underscore Murrell’s commitment to fostering greatness in himself while empowering others to succeed.

“I like doing work that fits with what I believe in,” says Murrell, BHS’19, a first-generation Caribbean student from Hempstead, New York, who is on a mission to take the support he has received from his family, close friends, and mentors and pay it forward. “Everything I do has to align with my values.”

“Being a mentor keeps me grounded and has taught me that life is bigger than I am. It’s been a humbling experience.”
— Kyumon Murrell, BSH’19

Murrell sees his co-op as a springboard for a career in healthcare, a field that piqued his interest due to its presence in the lives of virtually every single one of the world’s 7 billion people. He is a third-year health science major, with an eye toward earning his master’s in public health and working to address the social determinants of health on a global scale.

“I wanted to work for a company that exposed me to the administration side of healthcare while also catering to the kinds of communities that I might find myself working in down the road,” he explains.

His work as a mentor and RA has further honed his humanitarian instincts, providing him with a strong sense of what he can do to improve the lives of his peers. After his RA shift is over for the evening, it’s not unusual for him to spend an additional hour or two chatting with the Kennedy Hall residents under his watch, listening, getting to know them as people.

“I won’t look at the clock,” he says. “In that moment, it’s the resident who matters.”

One of the most prominent people in Murrell’s life at Northeastern is his mentee, a first-year game design major named Rayshawn Hughes.

Murrell is a first-generation Caribbean student from Hempstead, New York.

Murrell’s strategy for helping Hughes acclimate to college life is summed up in an age-old proverb: It takes a village. To that end, Murrell frequently invites Hughes to campus events, the dining hall, and friendly gatherings with his closest schoolmates.

“Kyumon has been a resource that I can always rely on,” says Hughes. “He has helped me most by being someone who can keep me on the right track.”

Notes Murrell: “Being a mentor keeps me grounded and has taught me that life is bigger than I am. It’s been a humbling experience.”

Murrell had another life-affirming experience earlier this month, when he and his peers in the CSO traveled to Montreal to attend the Heritage Conference and Culture Show put on by Concordia University’s Caribbean Student Union.

“Everyone,” he says, “should work to learn more about their history and heritage.”