Who WE Are – Khaliq Gatson

Khaliq Gatson is Who WE Are

When Khaliq Gatson graduated from William Penn High School (WPHS) in 2012 he left with two goals in mind. The first was to complete his college education which he did in 2016 when he graduated from the University of Delaware, and the second was to give back to his high school students at his alma mater along with other schools. Gatson, who now works in technology as a product manager for a company called Salesforce is the brainchild behind a mentoring program called Twenty20Focus. With the help of other professional graduates including his wife Marissa who also graduated from WPHS, Twenty20Focus mentors expose, educate, and empower young people with the tools needed to pursue their dreams. The program also equips high school students with the tools needed to map out their future college and career plans. “With the help of their mentors, they get to learn about a world they didn’t know existed, from different career paths to different states. We have mentors from Delaware to Maryland, Texas, and Washington ranging from law, doctors, real estate, College/Pro Sports administrators, technology, and more. It’s a way for young adults to see younger professionals outside of their parents that they may listen to a little more for advice and help lead them on a path to become the next leaders,” Gatson says. Gatson and his mentors took 20 students, 10 of whom were WPHS students, on a tour of Georgetown University where Marissa is the Executive Director for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Six of the mentors are also successful WPHS grads, including Gatson’s brother Khari. Gatson tells high school students about his journey at WPHS. While playing football and basketball all four years, he also worked hard to excel academically as a National Honor Society student and a member of the Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA). “I think Penn had everything I needed from academics to athletics while being in a diverse environment. At Penn, you will get out what you put into it, meaning if you try your best in and out the classroom, you’ll see the benefits.” Gatson credits his parents, teachers, and coaches Matt Sabol and Erik Jones for his success at WPHS. As he continues his own professional journey while heading Twenty20Focus he says he is guided by the words of music mogul Jay-Z who wrote, “Don’t ever go with the flow, be the flow.”