My Brother’s Keeper looks to inspire students on first day of school

Rev Lamonte Williams

My Brother’s Keeper looks to inspire students on first day of school
August 11
06:30 2016

100 Male Reception Tunnel to usher in the start of the 2016-2017 school year at Ashley Academy 



My Brother’s Keeper (MBK), a male mentoring initiative designed to empower young men of color, is trying to make sure the first day of school is one the young men at Ashley Academy will remember. On the morning of Monday, Aug. 29, MBK is planning a 100 Male Reception Tunnel to greet young men as they enter the area of learning to jumpstart the new school year.

The purpose of the welcoming ceremony at Ashley is to inspire students to start on the right foot and help them carry that momentum throughout the year. During the event, professional men will offer words of encouragement during an assembly at the start of the school day.

MBK was launched by President Barack Obama to address persistent opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color and ensure that all young people can reach their full potential. At the local level, director Rev. Dr. Lamonte Williams and other members on the committee have been working to ensure those in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County reach their potential.

Williams mentioned the event will also give students an opportunity to connect with possible mentors who will work with students throughout the school year.

“The first day of school is very important; that’s why we feel it is important that we are there to welcome them with open arms,” Williams said during a MBK committee meeting held last month.

“We want the boys and young men of color to know that we are here to support them,” he continued. “That’s what this initiative is all about, making sure our young men stay on track.”

While MBK will begin the school year at Ashley, that is only the beginning. As the school year progresses, the mentoring pro-gram will look to make an impact in every elementary school and surrounding communities in the district. Williams said MBK will first focus on elementary schools because so many in the area are performing below the state average.

“We won’t be finished after we touch the students at Ashley,” continued Williams. “The purpose of this initiative is to change the lives of all boy and young men of color and that’s what we intend to do.”

While the purpose of the welcoming ceremony and the mentoring program is to inspire students, a number of parents said they were also excited to see how the initiative will impact the community. When told about the plans for the first day, Adriana Ross, whose son is a third grader at Ashley, said she was interested to find out more.

“That program seems like a perfect fit for schools like Ashley,” she continued. “A lot of these young men come from single parent homes, so for them to see successful black men on the first day they go back to school is amazing.

“I am excited to see how the program works in this community.”

If you are interested in participating in the 100 Male Reception Tunnel, or becoming a male mentor, contact MBK committee member Aretha Garr at 336-871-6307.

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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