At a career crossroads once more, Brunson rebounded with a position at Kaplan’s Washington, DC international center, serving as its youngest and first African American director. His full-time gig, however, could not completely hold his attention.
Brunson simultaneously created a non-profit called Blue Print that would use Kaplan’s resources and provide free preparation to underserved youth. He simply needed financial backing. “I pitched it to the CEO of Kaplan,” Brunson remembers. “I even pitched it to numerous prominent Black organizations, but everyone said no.” Grappling with rejection, the serial career-shifter refocused on his day-to-day at Kaplan until a group of Turkish dignitaries visited and changed things once again.
After self-study and acquiring his life-coaching certificate, Brunson began taking on pro-bono clients and founded OneDegreeFrom.Me, a matchmaking and relationship coaching service, by the end of 2009.