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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

MKTYP event hosted at the home of Robert Kraft

Published: October 10, 2014
Section: News

In the home of Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, 20 Brandeis students gathered on Tuesday, Sept. 30 to be honored. These students are members of the Myra Kraft Transitional Year Program (MKTYP), which helps students who had inadequate educational opportunities before Brandeis adjust to college. It was renamed last year in honor of the passing of Kraft’s wife and Brandeis alumna and trustee, Myra Kraft.

MKTYP alumnus, Mohamed Sidique ’15, attended the event and spoke about the differences between this year’s event and past years’ at the Kraft home.

“The cameras weren’t there, so he got to be a lot more personable with us and tell us how much the program means to him and why the Kraft family chose to adopt the program,” said Sidique.

Mr. Kraft spoke about his wife and how she gave back not just to Brandeis, but also to the community of the greater Boston area.

“That’s a very special family,” said Sidique, “They give so much, and they care so much about everyone that surrounds them. “

University President Fred Lawrence also spoke at the event. He discussed Ms. Kraft’s impact on the university as a whole. He congratulated the students, but also explained that they have work to do and that they must always give back.

Another speaker was Victoria “Alex” Carter ’17, who completed the MKTYP last year and is now a second-year undergraduate student at Brandeis. In her speech, she told the crowd about the difficulties she faced growing up in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and how hard she had to work for her education. For Sidique, Carter’s story really hit home.

“She valued education so much that nothing could stop her from going to school and getting her work done,” said Sidique.

What meant a lot to Sidique was the opportunity to be able to see the Kraft family as they truly are, without the cameras.

“It was a lot more intimate,” said Sidique.

After the speeches, Mr. Kraft sat next to some of the students and had conversations with them.

“He doesn’t see differences. The way he interacted with us was like we were all the same,” said Sidique. That action alone meant a lot to Sidique and the other students.

Mr. Kraft also surprised the students by bringing out one of the Patriots’ Super Bowl Trophies to show them. In addition, he gave out club-level Patriot tickets to 21 randomly chosen MKTYP students. Sidique was lucky enough to be one of them.

Sidique loves the legacy that the MKTYP has created at Brandeis. Although he doesn’t know what the future might hold for the program, Sidique hopes that there will be more opportunities to connect the students to the Kraft family through work or community service. What he enjoys the most about MKTYP is “the motivation that it gives the students who are part of the program and how appreciated the students are.”

Sidique hopes to make the community more aware of the program so that “they have a better understanding of what the program is… and how each student in the program comes from a background that not many Brandeis students come from.”