Yonkers MBK Mentors Change Lives
Our region is full of adults who have the willingness and life experience to change young lives by becoming mentors. Through our Each One-Reach One program, Yonkers MBK is making that potential a reality.
“Supportive mentoring relationships help to secure a solid future for Yonkers’ next generation,” said Yonkers MBK Co-Chair, Dr. Edwin M. Quezada, Superintendent of Schools.
More than 80 local men have applied to participate in Each One-Reach One, which formally established itself this year and is now beginning to soar. Each One-Reach One is designed to equip students with sense of personal support and skills that bolster their academic, emotional and social wellbeing. Research shows that quality mentoring relationships reduce drop-out rates, absenteeism and have powerful positive effects on young people in many areas of their lives. The program is committed to ensuring students become productive members of their families, schools and communities.
“Mentors help young people develop self-confidence, overcome challenges and succeed in life,” said Dr. Quezada. “I know this because I’ve lived it. Mentors helped me as a teenage immigrant from the Dominican Republican achieve the American Dream.”
Inspired by the New York State Mentoring Program, Each One-Reach One matches approved adults with high school students for one-on-one mentorship to enrich the lives of all involved. Mentors (all of whom have passed thorough background checks) and mentees meet twice monthly, generally in the school setting. Site managers, trained by Keith Howard, Director of Training and Capacity Building for the New York State Mentoring Program, offer guidance to mentors about how to create rapport with their mentees and explore meaningful topics together.
The New York State Mentoring program was originally launched by Governor Andrew Cuomo’s mother Matilda Raffa Cuomo when she was New York State’s First Lady in 1984. The program ran until 1994. Governor Cuomo reinstated it in 2015 and appointed Matilda as Chairwoman. Yonkers MBK Program Coordinator Gregory Joyner and Nepperhan Community Center Program Manager Eric Wright cultivated interest in the mentorship initiative at college fairs, community events and MBK’s Year One anniversary celebration.
Said Mr. Joyner, “Meeting just one caring adult who offers guidance at the right time can change a young man’s life forever.”