Yonkers My Brother's Keeper Hits Stride
MARCH 31, 2017 (Yonkers, NY) – Six months after the City of Yonkers enthusiastically accepted President Barack Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge (MBK), the Yonkers MBK program is introducing a series of initiatives and a new social media campaign. The program is also coalescing community support through a Stakeholders Summit on April 1, 2017 at 9:00 a.m. at Lincoln High School, 375 Kneeland Avenue, Yonkers, NY.
My Brother’s Keeper aims to close persistent opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color and create paths to success for all young people. Upon accepting the national challenge on September 21, Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano appointed Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Edwin M. Quezada and Rev. Dr. Jim Bostic of the Nepperhan Community Center as co-chairs to lead the effort, in collaboration with Yonkers Thrives and other stakeholders.
“This initiative aligns with our work inviting citizens and businesses to open their hearts and contribute to the success of all students, helping them reach their full potential,” said Superintendent Quezada. “All children must have the opportunity, as I did, to believe the American Dream is truly within their reach.”
Since the fall, Yonkers high schools have been creating dynamic and well-attended MBK programs, including career fairs, older students tutoring younger ones, a Dress for Success donation closet where young job-seekers can suit up for interviews, and dozens more.
In March, Yonkers MBK launched a social media campaign with the hashtag #YonkersMBK on its new Twitter and Instagram feeds and Facebook page, all @YonkersMBK, and new website My Brother's Keeper. The social media campaign will also incorporate a tagline created by students attending the My Brother’s Keeper Stakeholder’s Summit on April 1.
The Stakeholders Summit – a crucial step in the program’s development - will bring together a broad range of community members to fine-tune an action plan for the Yonkers MBK initiative.
The plan will center on six specific milestones for young men of color as well as other students:
- Ensure all children enter school cognitively, physically, socially and emotionally ready
- Ensure all children read at grade level by 3rd grade
- Ensure all youth graduate from high school
- Ensure all youth complete post-secondary education or training
- Ensure all youth out of school are employed
- Ensure all youth remain safe from violent crime and have a second chance
Yonkers MBK programming is supported by a New York State My Brother’s Keeper Challenge Grant awarded in September and a Family and Community Engagement Grant awarded in March.