Twenty More Cities Announce Participation in President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative

The President launched My Brother’s Keeper in 2014 to help boys and young men of color reach their full potential.

The My Brother’s Keeper Initiative is a groundbreaking response to the challenge of chronic student absences in our country. It aims to reduce chronic absenteeism by connecting over one million students who are or at risk of becoming chronically absent with trained school-linked caring adults and near-peers over the next 3-5 years. The initiative is the nation’s first-ever effort to scale an evidence-based, data-driven mentor model to reach and support the highest risk students – using existing resources already linked to schools, and the early warning metric of chronic absenteeism to drive student success.

In February, 2016 the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative launched with participation from school districts in 10 communities – Austin, Boston, Columbus, Denver, Miami-Dade, New York City, Philadelphia, Providence, San Antonio and Seattle. Since February 2016, more than 8,000 students have been matched with mentors!

This month, an additional 20 participating communities joined in: Albuquerque, New Mexico; Baltimore, Maryland; Cleveland, Ohio; Dallas, Texas; Detroit and Flint, Michigan; Fresno, California; Hartford, Connecticut; Indianola, Texas; Jacksonville, Florida; Kansas City, Missouri; Los Angeles, California; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Oakland, California; Orlando, Florida; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Portland, Oregon; Sacramento, California and the Pine Ridge Reservation.

The MBK Success Mentors Initiative model connects students to caring adults who are trained school-linked personnel. These mentors will receive additional resources and tools to help them mentor students with greater impact. Mentors will include coaches, administrative staff, teachers, security guards, educators, AmeriCorps members, tutors, after-school providers and others. They will serve as trained and supported motivators, problem solvers, connectors, and advocates to form supportive relationships, identify and celebrate student’s strengths, promote their attendance every day, and connect them with the necessary supports to keep them on track and thriving.  Each mentor is assigned 3-5 students as mentees. Mentors are also “connectors,” helping flag challenges causing absenteeism and connecting mentees to appropriate school personnel or resources through this system that would otherwise remain untapped. Mentors meet with students 3 times per week in school all year and are trained to find a mentee’s positive strengthens, celebrate them, and call home as a parent engagement tool.

Learn how you can volunteer to be a mentor in your area!  Visit

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