President Obama launched My Brother’s Keeper in February 2014 to address persistent opportunity gaps facing boys and young men of color. To scale and sustain its mission, the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance was launched as a private sector entity in 2015. The My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, along with cross-sector partners, will work to accelerate impact in targeted communities, mobilize citizens and resources, and promote what works — all with the goal of encouraging mentorship, reducing youth violence, and improving life outcomes for boys and young men of color.

To ensure all young people can reach their full potential and as part of the Foundation’s mission to inspire and empower the next generation leaders, this work will continue as a project of the Obama Foundation when, later this year, the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance becomes an Obama Foundation initiative.

 

VOICES OF MBKA

Malachi, Boston

“I was born and raised in Upham’s Corner, Dorchester, a predominantly Cape Verdean neighborhood in Boston. In the early 2000’s, I would hear gunshots sounding off. My mother would limit how long my brothers and I could stay outside, and I hated that. However, this is my neighborhood, I love it, and it has changed a lot since.

“Although my mother found a way to meet our needs time and time again, my father’s absence often made my four brothers and I feel like something was missing. MBK Boston helped me overcome struggles, graduate from high school, and become the first in my family to attend college.”

At 16, Malachi was named to Boston Mayor Marty Walsh’s Youth Council and helped design and launch the My Brother’s Keeper program in Boston. Today, Malachi continues to be an active leader on MBK-Boston’s advisory council and is entering his sophomore year at Northeastern University as a Torch Scholar.

Noah, Washington, DC

“I attended 13 schools before graduating. It was hard to mature and grow. Thankfully, my mentor Dr. Henry got me on track. I went from being one of the worst students to being an example to others. I’m at Morehouse College now. If I overcame these challenges, I can conquer anything!”

Not long before President Obama launched My Brother’s Keeper in 2014, Noah was 16-years-old sitting in a juvenile detention center in Maryland writing down a list of goals: “Get on the school newspaper team. Get on the football team. Graduate. Live long enough to graduate.”

Two years later, Noah was getting his life on track, doing well in school and reaching back to mentor younger students to avoid the pitfalls he faced. That’s when he was selected to be part of My Brother’s Keeper and the White House Mentorship and Leadership Program. Today, Noah is entering his junior year at Morehouse College on a full scholarship. At Morehouse he’s been an active student leader, mentor, and community volunteer.

Dahkota, California Miwok, Concow, Yuki

“As a young Native American, I see the difficulties and struggles that follow us every day. I see how other Native boys are affected by the devastating statistics that haunt Native Americans; we have the highest dropout rate, lowest numbers represented in college, and highest suicide rates among all ethnicities. Observing these tragedies unfold right in front of my eyes, I decided to make a change.

“About two years ago, I began a peer-to-peer youth study group called NERDS (Native Education Raising Dedicated Students). I work with both males and females, but it would appear as though the program has had the largest effect on the young men who participate. There are numerous inspirational stories of young Native men who have beat the odds and have refused to become a statistic.”

Dahkota has been an active leader in the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance and Generous Indigenous, an initiative launched by President Obama in 2014 focused on expanding opportunity for Native youth. Today, he is a sophomore at Stanford University and continues to be a local and national advocate for the issues facing Tribal boys and young men of color.

Learn more about the MBK Alliance

Visit mbkalliance.org

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