Voices of MBK Alliance
“I want you to know you matter. You matter to us. You matter to each other. There’s nothing, not a single thing, that’s more important to the future of America than whether or not you and young people all across this country can achieve their dreams.”
“As an educator, I feel obligated to use my voice not only at my school, but in my community. Too often people in politics and in other systems across the U.S. are making decisions without young people at the table. I can’t count how many times I’ve walked into a room and older people—administrators, teachers, officials, community leaders—were having conversations about how they were going to help young people without any youth at the table.
In school, I often remind myself to remain humble and listen to my students. In return, I learn so much valuable information from them. They all have very unique perspectives on life and learning. Even when I share a similar background or narrative with some of my students, their perspectives still differ from my own.”
Quamiir Trice was one of hundreds of young men at MBK Rising! and took the stage with Karamo Brown and other young men to reflect on their experience at MBK Rising! Read Quamiir’s blog about the event and on what it actually takes to involve youth in decisions about their own futures.
Senegal, New York
“I’m passionate about providing a voice for communities that have traditionally been left out of the conversation. I’m a young man of color from the Bronx, New York. I grew up riding NY subways, playing baseball in local parks, and enjoying foods you can only find on NY streets. I am also very proud of my rich family background having a mother who immigrated from Grenada WI, Grandfather who was a US Veteran and Great Grandfather who worked to build the Intrepid.
My interest in helping BYMOC is not a pastime but serious pursuit at creating a shared vision for student success across the country.”
Senegal A. Mabry, a junior at SUNY Binghamton, was recently selected to serve on the Advisory Council of the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance. Senegal has played a role in the development of the NYS MBK initiatives since their inception and we are proud that he will be a voice for young men of color on the national level.
“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.