PITTSBURGH, PA (July 29, 2015) - As part of President Barack Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative, the Office of Mayor William Peduto today joins BMe Pittsburgh and the Mentoring Partnership of Southwestern PA in an effort to ensure that all youth, including youth of color, have access to quality mentors through a series of events titled Pittsburgh Keepers of the Community Meetups.
Pittsburgh Keepers of the Community Meetups will convene organizations and everyday mentors to focus on: reducing the amount of youth on waiting lists for local mentoring programs, creating collaborative spaces for organizations to share resources, and eliminating barriers that prevent youth in the region from having access to a quality mentor.
“Through the Pittsburgh Keepers of the Community effort, we hope to tell the story of our everyday mentors,” said Mayor William Peduto. “From the teachers that help our students in the classroom to the crossing guards that help them at the bus stop - mentors increase opportunities for all of our youth and we need more of our residents to take the pledge to mentor our kids.”
Statistics demonstrate that 1 in 3 youth do not have access to a mentor. Currently, Pittsburgh has 27,000 youth being mentored and nearly 1,000 on the waiting list. According to the Mentoring Partnership of Southwestern PA, those with the greatest need for mentors are young men of color that are 13 years of age.
"Mentoring is a key component in helping our region's youth get exposure to thinking in new ways and seeing their world in a broader view,” said Harry Johnson, BMe Community Manager. “It is our goal to help build stronger collaboration and highlight the thousands of everyday black men that help young people lead more prosperous lives through mentoring and empowerment in our region."
Colleen Fedor from the Mentoring Partnership added, “Young people in our region are eager to learn and connect with well prepared caring adults who can help them navigate through challenges and opportunities. At The Mentoring Partnership, it is our vision that every young person will have the mentor they need. We are excited to join BMe and the My Brothers Keeper initiative to raise awareness of the need and celebrate the work of many mentors in our community!"
The following organizations have committed to the effort: 100 Black Men of Southwest PA, Amachi Pittsburgh, The Door Campaign, Turning Corners Mentoring, Reaching Back Rites of Passage Program, and Black Male Leadership Development Institute.
The Meetups are designed to: highlight mentors (both formal mentors and everyday mentors); share resources that support a specific need (educational, physical, social, emotional, etc.); and create opportunities for dialogue and encouragement of high-quality mentoring experiences. The first event will take place on Wednesday, July 29, 2015 at the Jeron X. Grayson Community Center in the Hill District from 6-7:30 p.m.
More information about the Pittsburgh Keepers of the Community Meetups can be found here and will be discussed in the My Brother’s Keeper plan to be released early this fall.
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Office: (412) 925-1990
LaTrenda Leonard Sherrill
Deputy Chief, Operations and Administration
City of Pittsburgh
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