My Brother’s Keeper Spartanburg involves more ‘innovators, thinkers, and policy makers’
In March 2023, the initiative launches the Empower Youth Leadership Institute, where monthly cohorts of teens will take trips to leaders in manufacturing, health care, nonprofits, philanthropy, and corporations.
GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - The power of mentorship. Studies show having a mentor can lead to higher grades for students and higher earnings for adults. And one Spartanburg County initiative is seeing the results.
We’ve interrupted an intentional conversation between science teacher Mark Manigo and two high school students.
“You guys are important. We want to be there for you but we can only be there if we know what your needs and desires are,” Manigo said.
But he isn’t discussing earth science, and he’s not teacher.
“Mentors help students develop themselves, we’re not here to tell them what to do,” Manigo said.
My Brother’s Keeper uses a curriculum based on extensive research that’s benefitted college bound Daekwon Carpenter-Bishop and Karter Glymph.
“It allowed me to use my voice more,” Glymph said. “It allowed me to express it in my own way that I never really have before.”
“It’s just a safe space where you can just be comfortable and be yourself,” said Carpenter-Bishop.
Data from a 2022 Spartanburg County study shows My Brother’s Keeper is closing the race gap in students attending college, and other areas of opportunity, health, safety, and well-being. It’s also reversing stigma.
“We’ve been able to do that directly through positive youth development and mentorship and consistency of the work,” said Antiwan Tate, My Brother’s Keeper Alliance of South Carolina executive director.
Last month, Spartanburg’s mayor even proclaimed January, “My Brother’s Keeper Spartanburg Month”. The initiative has also been recognized twice at the national level recently, for its intensity and dosage of programming and opportunity.
“We involve innovators, thinkers, policy makers and have direct candid conversations about how (youth) voices can be heard and how they can make and create the change in their communities directly,” Tate said.
In 2023, Tate is thinking bigger. The initiative launches the Empower Youth Leadership Institute, where monthly cohorts of teens will take trips to leaders in manufacturing, health care, nonprofits, philanthropy, and corporations.
“Young men being able to see their county from a different lens, from the eyes of the leaders. and also the leaders being able to see it from the eyes of the young people,” Tate said.
Building bridges with youth like Daekwon, whose still in high school, and already with enough college credits for an associate degree.
“I want to see our students grow and be better. And unless we invest the time in our young people, that’s just not going to happen,” Manigo.
Creating opportunities for young men of color is the tag line for My Brother’s Keeper. They’re looking for industries and sectors to collaborate with. Internship opportunities are also welcome. To learn more visit https://www.mbkasc.org/
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