Lifelong Bronx resident Durell Boahen has passion for his job, but more importantly, family is everything to him. In 2019 he joined Community Board 11 and hopes to make a difference.
Boahen, 35, of Pelham Parkway, has been a relationship manager at the Bank of America for in Manhattan for 10 years, is married and a father of two young boys.
“I personally feel that my contribution on the community board is to give a fresh perspective, new ideas, practicality and a diverse viewpoint that embodies the interests and concerns of my community,” he said to the Bronx Times.
Boahen was born and raised in the south Bronx and went to Our Savior Lutheran on Williamsbridge Road from kindergarten to 12th grade. While many in his neighborhood cut class and took the wrong path, he played sports and was always focused due to his parents Janet and Sam.
“I didn’t have time to get in trouble,” he said.
Sam was an emigrant from Ghana, who became a citizen and today is a retired X-ray tech. His mom is a retired administrator professional from the shuttered North General Hospital.
His dad often worked two jobs, so growing up Boahen spent the majority of his time with his mom. But they both helped shape the man he is today.
“My mother inspired me to be the best me through being tough on my brother and I to achieve educational excellence and to become honest, discipline, and good young men,” he explained. “My father inspired me through his hard work, perseverance and dignity. He installed strong work ethic, integrity and inspired us to work hard to be successful.”
Boahen left the Bronx and obtained a bachelor’s in business administration in 2008 from Five Towns College. After graduating he relocated to Wakefield, where he lived for about a decade.
As he dabbled in real estate for a bit, Boahen soon realized he was a bit of a salesman. Soon, he deiced to merge those skills with his business acumen and got into banking.
While in Wakefield Boahen would attend Community Board 12 meetings and decided the time was right to join his community board. He sits on the Economic Development Committee and is also chairman of the Equity Committee.
“I’ve always been interested in public service,” he stated. I just knew I wanted to do something meaningful.”
According to Boahen, issues he wants to see addressed are improving the digital divide in education and bringing in more schools, creating affordable housing and diversity in jobs.
As someone who goes into Manhattan on a regular basis, he sees the stark difference between the city and the Bronx.
“Elements of this situation suggest it is the forgotten borough,” he said.
Although he is still new to the board, Boahen’s goal is to work hard, listen to the concerns of his fellow members and residents and make a difference. He also stayed busy during the pandemic and obtained his master’s of business administration from Capella University.
“I’m very selfless about what I do for the community,” he remarked.