“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

The last message I ever received from my brother was, “I believe in you, Champ. You’ll get into HBS.”

The next month, I received the worst phone call of my life. It was my sister telling me that my brother, Précieux, had passed away at 29. 

Précieux and I were inseparable. We made it through the poverty of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. We survived the violence of public housing in Washington, D.C. Through it all, we always had each other. My brother was my protector and role model. He inspired me to pursue my dreams, guided me through life’s challenges, and encouraged me to never give up.

Two weeks after Précieux’s funeral, I received the admissions call from HBS: “You’re in.”

Business school was not at the top of my mind. But after some soul-searching, I thought back to Précieux’s message and his enduring belief in my potential. The call from HBS became a call to action. 

Now, I am 29. I will honor my brother’s legacy by picking up where he left off. I will inspire, guide, and encourage people to reach their potential. I will be a Précieux for others.

— Franklin Muanankese