Initiative readies students for college, careers

111416...R MENTORING 1...Champion...11-14-16... WGH student Willie Chatmon (correct), 16, left, listens to Jalaya Provitt of Warren, from Inspiring Minds, as she speaks during the kick-off for the My Brother's Keeper initiative , a mentoring program, helds at Kent State Trumbull Monday morning...by R. Michael Semple

CHAMPION — Students from the Warren and Youngstown areas will benefit from a White House program that aims to help prepare kids for their futures after graduation despite their background, according to an Ohio senator.

“Ohio is losing future doctors, engineers, teachers and entrepreneurs because of an opportunity gap,” U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said Monday at Kent State University at Trumbull. “My Brother’s Keeper (initiative) is about building strong children who will grow into the leaders of the future and who won’t be bound by a society that has too often been set up to hold them back.”

My Brother’s Keeper kicked off Monday in Trumbull County with Brown, U.S. Rep. Timothy J. Ryan, D-Howland, community leaders and a group of Mahoning Valley mentors and mentees.

The local program will work to connect male students of color with community leaders through mentoring relationships and educational events with a goal of ensuring that all youth receive a quality high school education and graduate with skills they need to advance in life, according to organizers.

“Every young person in our community deserves the same chance at success, regardless of where they start in life,” Ryan said Monday. “This program will be instrumental for our young people (to) receive the education and training they need to find good paying jobs and lead fulfilling lives.”

President Barack Obama in 2014 issued a challenge, inviting communities to implement a strategy for improving the life outcomes of all young people, regardless of who they are, where they come from or the circumstances into which they are born, according to Brown’s office.

Some of the goals include ensuring all children are ready when they enter school; can read at grade level by third grade; that they all graduate from high school; complete post-secondary education or training; that all youth out of school are employed; and that all youth remain safe from violent crime.

Community leaders are encouraged to lay the groundwork by accepting the challenge and convening a “local action summit;” conducting a policy review and form recommendations for action; and launch a plan of action, next steps and a timetable for review, according to the plan.

Nearly 200 mayors, tribal leaders and county executives across 43 states and the District of Columbia are participating in the challenge.



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