When an adult intentionally guides a young person, it can change their life trajectory and expand their opportunities. For many boys and young men of color (BYMOC), the transition from childhood to adulthood can greatly benefit from these positive influences. While many youth in communities of color have access to caring adults and mentors, data suggests that BYMOC are disproportionately “disconnected” from more caring, non-parental adults. For this reason, mentoring continues to be an important component of My Brother’s Keeper.
Last week, our friend Terrence Thornton, also known as Pusha T, used his platform to raise awareness of the need for more community involvement. After a 6-year-old made a viral public plea to end violence in his hometown, the artist responded, by starting a college fund and sharing in his open letter that “no matter where we are in life, we have to look out for the youth.”
We agree that there is a need to provide our boys and young men of color with more access to positive role models. We believe that everyone has varying forms of experience and expertise to pass on to the next generation. My Brother’s Keeper is committed to closing the mentorship gap, so that the all young people can imagine and fulfill a bright future.
In July of 2014, the National Basketball Association (NBA), the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) and the National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) announced a five-year commitment to support My Brother’s Keeper.
As part of this commitment, the NBA family partnered with MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership to support their “In Real Life” campaign and set a goal to recruit 25,000 new mentors over five years, with a focus on adult males of color.
Less than three years into the partnership, already more than 25,000 Americans have signed up to become mentors and been connected directly to a mentoring program in their community. Going forward, the NBA family is renewing its commitment to mentoring by setting a new goal of increasing sign-ups by an additional 25,000 adult mentors.
It is undeniably powerful when we gather to build our young people. My Brother’s Keeper is collaborating with MENTOR to provide boys and young men of color with mentoring matches across the country. With your help, your experience and your time, our young people can feel more connected, and equipped to achieve success and prosperity.