NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. - Since accept President Barack Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper Challenge” to improve educational opportunities for the entire community last year, New Rochelle has been at the forefront in helping “embrace, engage and empower” students.
Their hard work since becoming the first Westchester municipality to accept the challenge last April will come to fruition this week, after being invited by Obama himself to attend the final My Brother’s Keeper National Summit at the White House.
On Wednesday, New Rochelle City Councilman Jared Rice and High School Principal Reggie Richardson, the co-chairs of MBKNewRo, will represent the community and school district alongside national leaders, policy makers and private-sector champions in Washington, D.C.
Since accepting the challenge, 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.”
Last October, the committee presented a 24-page Action Plan report that outlined the goals and steps that will be taken to meet Obama’s challenge. The co-chairs outlined a total of 27 goals, 33 action steps and 20 performance measures to address six milestones that need to be met.
According to the 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.”
If New Rochelle succeeds the challenge, all children will be emotionally, socially and physically prepared to attend classes, with all children literate by the third grade. Other specific goals include ensuring that every youth graduates high school, completes post-secondary education and come out prepared for gainful employment.
“Principal Richardson and I are very excited to be guests at the White House for this special occasion,” Rice said. “The New Rochelle community has put a lot of work toward meeting the objectives of My Brother’s Keeper, and we are grateful for being recognized for these efforts by the MBK Task Force and President Obama.”