The My Brother’s Keeper Alliance has named Yonkers one of its four MBK Model Communities. During a celebratory event in Chicago on May 12th, the mayor and superintendent were present to accept the honor.
About the Program
My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) is a youth program launched by former President Barack Obama in 2014. The program addresses persistent opportunity gaps faced by young men of color. Its goal is to ensure all youth have the chance to reach their full potential. The program offers mentoring, education, and career opportunities to boys and young men of color. Mayor Mike Spano cites the success of this program to its wide base of support throughout the city. “Everyone has bought into My Brother’s Keeper,” he said.
Out of hundreds of cities with demonstrable success in improving outcomes for boys and young men of color, Yonkers proved to be one of the best in the nation. The New York State Department of Education reports that Yonkers holds the top spot for having the highest high school graduation rate among young individuals of color in the state, standing at 91%. During the event, Dr. Edwin Quezada, the Superintendent of Yonkers Public Schools, shared the city’s endeavors to enhance high school graduation rates for students of color.
Graduating from high school is one of their most important milestones. Their diploma is the key that opens doors to opportunities for whatever our young people of color can dream. Success must be part of their life experience. In partnership with the MBK Alliance this is a reality in our learning community. Ninety percent (90%) of our young men of color graduate on time. We work tirelessly so that our young men know they are valued, accepted, respected, cared for, and loved. In Yonkers, we are My Brother’s KeeperDr. Edwin Quesada
MBK Yonkers will receive support from the Obama Foundation’s MBK Alliance to maintain the systems-level progress it has made in furtherance of the program’s goals. Direct coaching, evaluation support, and peer-to-peer learning will be provided to MBK Yonkers. Moreover, two grants amounting to $400,000 each per year will also be awarded to Yonkers.
By highlighting and investing in Yonkers as an MBK Model Community, the organization aims to provide an example nation-wide. The end-goal is for other communities to attain the same success that we have seen in Yonkers.