[email protected] Mentorship Model Improves Educational Outcomes for Young Men of Color in Kingston, New York
The organization mentors roughly 50 Kingston High School students each year, teaching them life skills, aiding in academics, and organizing trips to colleges and conferences. Student outcomes and success stories at Kingston High School have been impressive. Principal Vincent DeCicco says their graduation rate for black male students has increased every year since [email protected] began their mentorship program at Kingston High School, rising from about 47-48% when [email protected] first came in, to the most recently reported 80-81% graduation rate.
In a video produced as a case study for Open Society Network (OSUN), of which Bard is a founding partner, [email protected] Executive Director Vasquez asks: “What happens when you take those people who are closest to the problem and often furthest from the resources . . . and position that group to lead the work and not just be objects of it? They tend to have the most creative solutions. They tend to be those who can see the problem and understand it and break it down and address it better than anyone else.”
Partnering locally with Kingston High School and other organizations including Camp Ramapo in Dutchess County, [email protected] has pioneered a model for near-peer mentoring programs, which is becoming a national model. “What we realized was when you do same-generation mentorship it’s like a mirror that’s put up . . . It makes them feel like they can literally be that person tomorrow,” says Vasquez.
Kingston High School student Damien Figueroa, [email protected] mentee, says, “[email protected] is a brotherhood. It’s laughter, it’s love, it’s a safe space.”
About [email protected]
Since 2014, [email protected] has grown from a student-led pilot program ([email protected]) and institutional initiative, to a state-wide scalable model focused on expanding to college campuses and local communities across NY State and all 5-boroughs ofCa NYC. The organization serves as a platform for hope, self-empowerment, and engagement—pressing needs among low-income and underrepresented students in secondary and higher education.
Today, [email protected] works with nearly 200 young men of color annually—recruiting, training and hiring collegiate men of color to become mentors and positive male role-models to young men of color in high school through our weekly programming during the academic school year—ultimately providing access to meaningful opportunities, and creating pathways to full-time employment on college campuses, local communities, high schools, and youth-serving nonprofits and organizations.
Through cross-sector collaborations and partnerships with public and private institutions, corporations and nonprofits, [email protected] is a blueprint for addressing the ever-growing opportunity gaps YMOC face, and challenging historically exclusive and predominately white institutions to become inclusive spaces for young people.
To learn more, please visit brothersat.org or follow @Brothersat_ on Twitter and @Brothersat_ on Instagram.
Post Date: 03-02-2022