We sat down with Lamereia Jenkins, a Youth Fellow with My Brother’s Keeper Sacramento, to find out what MBK means to him, what advice he has for community leaders and how he stays motivated. The Center at Sierra Health Foundation, a National Impact Community Winner, is the backbone organization leading the work of My Brother’s Keeper in Sacramento—you can learn more about their efforts here.
Q: What does My Brother’s Keeper mean to you?
A: My Brother’s Keeper means a brotherhood. I say that because I wouldn’t have graduated high school. This program is like a father to me, they have always been there for me.
Q: If you had one piece of advice for community leaders working on behalf of boys and young men of color, what would it be? What would your call to action be for them?
A: One piece of advice I would give community leaders is staying focused and dedicated on these young men by asking people about their backgrounds, where they come from, really get to know the young men. Based off where they are, meet them right where they are.
As for a call to action, be clear on what to expect, give all young men a breakdown of what we want to achieve and what we don’t want to achieve. Do this with all programs and relationships because it is all about relationships, they are all tied together for one big thing.
Q: What motivates you to keep going on your hardest days?
A: On my hardest days, I built a relationship with my brothers to get me through. The times that helped me was the fact that they communicated with my mom and my mom communicated with them a lot. That makes me keep pushing forward to strive for what I want.