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New Rochelle Celebrates Anniversary Of 'My Brother's Keeper' Challenge

New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson with Superintendent of Schools Brian Osborne and Board of Education officials celebrating the one year anniversary of accepting President Barack Obama's "My Brother's Keeper" challenge. Photo Credit: MBKNewRo
The official proclamation declaring May 11 as My Brother's Keeper New Rochelle Day. Photo Credit: MBKNewRo

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. - One year after becoming the first municipality in New York to accept President Barack Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper” challenge, New Rochelle officials came together to discuss progress and celebrate their successes at a “birthday celebration.”

On Wednesday, city officials were joined by the New Rochelle Board of Education, Superintendent Brian Osborne, students, faculty and family members at the high school as Mayor Noam Bramson declared it “My Brother’s Keeper Day” in the city.

One year ago, New Rochelle joined hundreds of municipalities throughout the country that have heeded the president’s call, which is aimed at increasing and improving opportunities for youth, specifically those of color, in urban cities.

New Rochelle was the first in the state to accept Obama’s challenge, and was recently joined by Mount Vernon, which became the second district in the county to accept the challenge.

Since then, a steering committee comprised of members of the City Council, school district and prominent community members have been hard at work, tasked with “creating action steps to address six areas of focus – the goals of the challenge – that are critical to ensuring that youth can succeed from pre-K, all the way up through college and careers.”

Late last year, the committee outlined a 24-page Action Plan report that described the goals and steps that will be taken to meet Obama’s challenge. The co-chairs laid out a total of 27 goals, 33 action steps and 20 performance measures to address six milestones that need to be met.

If “My Brother’s Keeper Challenge” is met, all students will graduate from high school (milestone three), with struggling students getting an assist through a personalized tutoring program, expanded SAT preparation classes and the establishment of an “MBK Ambassadors Club,” with “members meeting weekly with mentors to navigate high school challenges and the college application process.”

According to the Steering Committee, “the My Brother's Keeper Community Challenge is about providing opportunities so that everyone can reach their potential, particularly, boys and young men of color."

“We all want success for our children, yet in our community, despite the diversity, rich history and cultural heritage of which we are so proud, we are not seeing success for all of our kids. The My Brother’s Keeper New Rochelle initiative seeks to build upon and improve the conditions in our community to ensure success for all.”

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