In preparation for the 2nd Annual College Bound Brotherhood Graduation, we would like to highlight some of our grant partners who have contributed to the preparation of the graduates within the College Bound Brotherhood network. Each plays important roles in providing the necessary tools, resources, and support (financial and academic) to young African American college-bound males throughout the Bay Area.
Through the My Brother’s Keeper Program, Choose College provides educational resources, advising, and events aimed at increasing academic success, as well as, boosting high school and college graduation rates amongst African American males. Currently, they are gearing up for their Super SATurday event which will educate parents and students of the importance of entrance exams and test readiness.
East Bay College Fund awards college scholarships, offers mentorship, and college-counseling to public high school students in Oakland. They have gradually grown since their founding in 2002 and this year they are excited to award thirty-five scholarships! Diane Dodge, Executive Director, says the uniqueness of their program is in being able to provide role models from the community, some being alumni who understand the challenges and strengths of these young men. “These relationships,” she says “bring integrity to the college curriculum we deliver. Also, rarely do programs make a difference in attendance and grades but it says a lot that we have already seen improvements in our first year. This demonstrates that the services fit the needs.”
Making Waves Education Foundation supports students through college prep advising, workshops, college readiness curriculum, and self-empowerment. In 2011, Making Waves launched its public charter high school in Richmond which boasts a rigorous college-preparatory education often only available in elite private schools. In addition, Making Waves engages students in dialogues about identity and encourages them to join Black Student Unions on campus. Bridget Anderson, Director of Advancement, says: “Our Wave Makers have had the opportunity to explore their relationship to power, class, race, and diversity in America and how it relates to their own lives in the institutions they are currently a part of, as well as the institutions they are attempting to join.”
Next Step Learning Center provides an intensive College Transition Program that seeks to build a college-going culture amongst students. They work with many young men who have dropped out of high school. Sister Cynthia Canning, Co-Director, says “Previously, most of them had never imagined themselves on a college campus and did not know anyone in their immediate circle of family and friends who had attended college. Recognizing this, we launched our College Transition Program five years ago to make a college education accessible to and compelling for these young Oakland residents.” This semester, Next Step is celebrating the enrollment of 17 of their GED graduates in a local community college.
In 2010, Science Engineering and Mathematics Link expanded their programs from Atlanta to the Bay Area to help expose youth to real world applications of math and science. Last month they hosted their 2nd Annual San Francisco Bay Area Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Career Fair and Exhibition at Laney College which gathered over 100 attendees! Tokiwa Smith, Executive Director, says that many black males who are intellectually capable of attending college do not because they do not see the connection between academics and post graduation opportunities. “Our program,” she states “engages youth in hands-on STEM and career exploration activities. These interactions between youth and the STEM community not only provide positive role models for youth but provide an example of how important academic achievement is to career paths that require a college education.”
We are extremely excited to work with these amazing groups and the many others in the College Bound Brotherhood network! We look forward to what is ahead. Please stay tuned for more info, news, and events from our network!