By Matthew Cunha

“It is home. That is the best part,” said Brandon Ekhator.  

Ekhator, 32, has lived in or around Mission Hill his entire life. He now owns his own apartment close to Brigham Circle, where he was talking to other locals on a bright sunny day.

Ekhator works for Chartwells Catering, delivering food to colleges up and down Huntington Avenue. He regularly sets up and works at events for Chartwells, and helps cook food on the weekends.

Mission Hill has seen a lot of changes in the last 20 years, he said. These changes include better infrastructure, but more traffic. He also used to worry about coming home from school when he was kid. Today, Ekhator said that Mission Hill is safer and the pace of change is quicker.

“It took years to complete a small project before,” Ekhator said.

With more college students moving in, the demographics are also changing. Ekhator’s father was a Northeastern student who decided to stick around the area. Ekhator hopes that leaders in the area stick around to help raise a community. He would like to see the community continue to grow.

“I was born in Mission Hill, he said. “People sticking around here and not running away. It is something to be proud of.”

Some challenges the community face include traffic and narrow sidewalks.

“It is hard for my handicapped mother,” said Ekhator.

His favorite memory of growing up in Mission Hill: “Skateboarding as a kid, all day from early morning,” he said. “Until I decided to go to college.”

About this project 

The Scope’s student journalists spoke with community members in Mission Hill. #MissionHill100 is a collection of their stories.