“Boys Hope Girls Hope gave me a place to live, as opposed to crashing with my aunt and uncle,” he says. “And living with kids from so many different kinds of neighborhoods and different pasts also gave me a unique social awareness.” Being a part of Boys Hope Girls Hope provided BJ with opportunities to grow in many different directions. He swam and rowed for St. Xavier, and also took his first chemistry class there, sparking an interest that would lead him to Willamette University and to a Ph.D. in organic chemistry at Columbia University in New York.