Against The Odds: Fulton County My Brother’s Keeper Program

“If we’re going to stay ahead as a nation, we’re going to need the talent of every single American.” ~President Obama at My Brother’s Keeper White House National Summit on December 14, 2016

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Twenty-one-year-old Frank Cobbs IV started to see the stories he had heard numerous times from his parents play out before him. It will be harder to get a job if you don’t prepare for your future, they would say. So Cobbs studied hard in school and while he was getting college acceptance letters his senior year of high school, he saw that many of his classmates were not.

“My parents motivated me,” said Cobbs. “They told me what I would be able to do if I worked hard as well as what I wouldn’t be able to do if I didn’t.”

Cobbs’ hard work is paying off. A Junior at Georgia State University majoring in biology, Cobbs was invited to speak on a panel about his experience as a young black male at the White House My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Summit on December 14, 2016.

My Brother’s Keeper started in 2014 when President Barack Obama brought national attention to the staggering obstacles stacked against boys and young men of color. They are more likely to get in trouble at school, less likely to earn high school diplomas and more likely to get in trouble with the law than their white counterparts.

The goal of MBK is goal is simple: Ensure that all young people, especially boys and young men of color, reach their full potential.

Fulton County’s MBK program started in 2015 and we are proud to say our chapter is one of the top performing ones out of more than 250 in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

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Congratulations to Frank Cobbs IV (L), a resident of Fulton County and Junior at Georgia State University, for participating on the White House MBK National Summit panel with several other young men across the country to discuss how MBK has impacted their lives.

 

We host town halls that teach boys and young men how to interact with law enforcement.  We create fun mentoring opportunities like the recent “Week of Action” events where students ages 14-18 got an opportunity to tour the College Football Hall of Fame as well as meet with student athletes at Georgia State University to learn about study habits and life skills.

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Fulton County My Brother’s Keeper Students visit Georgia State University to learn about student study habits and life skills. 

 

As President Obama stated when he first launched MBK in 2014, “Let’s do things that work.” We know that supporting our boys and young men through mentorship works.

At-risk youth who have a mentor are:

  • 55% more likely to go to college.
  • 78% more likely to volunteer regularly, and
  • 90% are interested in becoming mentors themselves.
  • The MBK program is a huge success and I am thrilled it will move into 2017 stronger than ever.

I want to encourage you all to do your part whether it’s at home, church, or school, and help our youth achieve their dreams and reach their full potential. Each and every one of us can make a difference in a young person’s life.

JHE

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