My (Little) Brother’s Keeper

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President Obama has introduced the My Brother’s Keeper initiative to provide resources for one of the most disadvantaged groups in America: young men of color. As a response, Big Brothers Big Sisters is excited to support this proposal through one-to-one mentoring programs.

Mentoring is one of the best strategies to keep youth out of what’s known as the school-to-prison pipeline, “a disturbing national trend wherein children are funneled out of public schools and into the juvenile and criminal justice systems.”

Simply having an adult outside of the family to provide communication and support has a huge influence on children facing adversity, including young men of color, who are impacted by factors like crime and delinquency, family dysfunction, poverty, and justice system involvement more than most other groups.

Through evidence-based one-to-one mentoring programs, it’s been proven that BBBS makes a difference in kids’ lives. Of the more than 200,000 children served annually, 94 percent improved in their attitudes toward risky behaviors and 85 percent improved in their educational expectation.

The Obama administration is implementing the My Brother’s Keeper initiative to keep young men of color in school and away from the criminal justice system. Additionally, President Obama is relying on non-profit organizations, like BBBS, to provide evidence-based programs and strategies to reach minority boys.

Although serving young men of color is a priority for the President, we still are in need of Big Brothers. Most of our volunteers are women, but nearly 2/3 of our Littles waiting for a match are boys. Clearly, mentoring programs are crucial for setting youth up for success, especially for those facing adversity at higher rates. Join President Obama and BBBS in making a positive impact by becoming a Big!

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