240 High School Students Attend Impactful My Brother's Keeper Event in the Bronx

The Mintz Auditorium was alive with energy and excitement yesterday as the College hosted its annual "My Brother’s Keeper" program.

Nearly 250 young men of color from 11 high schools in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Yonkers joined us for the rousing two-hour program that inspires them to be confident, resilient, and successful in pursuing their academic, personal, and professional aspirations.

President Marc Jerome opened the uplifting, motivational program with Joy Tolliver, the College’s Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and General Counsel.

The young men in attendance were encouraged from the very beginning to believe in themselves and to dream big, achievable dreams.

The importance of “finding their why” – the key motivating factor that will propel them forward – was a recurring theme throughout the event. Speakers emphasized the 
importance of having a vision for the future and to keep moving toward it, overcoming whatever challenges may stand in their way.

The highly interactive program encouraged students to use the microphones set up in the auditorium to share their stories, dreams, and concerns with others at the event, which they did to overwhelming support.

It was a wonderful event thanks in no small part to a stellar line-up of speakers: Dr. Anael Alston, Assistant Commissioner, New York State Education Department’s Office of Access, Equity, and Community Engagement; George Patterson, Senior Director, New York City Department of Education overseeing the My Brother’s Keeper and My Sister’s Keeper Programs; Mark Smith, Senior Vice President, Wells Fargo; and Jumaane Williams, Public Advocate for the City of New York.

Temajio Boodle and Emilio King, two Monroe staff members who are also alumni, also spoke to the students. They shared their personal experiences adjusting to college life and the decisions they made to set themselves up for personal and professional success.

The My Brother's Keeper initiative began in 2014 to address persistent opportunity gaps faced by young people of color. Launched by then-President Barack Obama, its mission is dedicated to helping all young people achieve their potential through educational equity, mentorship, and through community collaborations to solve problems and strengthen outcomes for boys and young men of color.

The College began offering male empowerment programming in 2009, albeit under a different name, to help combat the weak enrollment and even weaker program completion rates for urban minority men.

The My Brother’s Keeper program is held each spring on the College’s Bronx campus. A similar program was held for young high school women – “My Sister’s Keeper: Together, We’ll Make HERstory” – last month.

Our thanks to all who attended this year's My Brother's Keeper event!