Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Wilson Hall, Room 536
371 Wilson Boulevard
Rochester, MI 48309-4486
(map)
(248) 370-3645
My Brother's Keeper, man talking to three young adult men seated at computer desks

My Brother's Keeper

Knowing that the federal, state and local governments cannot be the only — or even the primary — players in creating real change and opportunity for minority youth in underrepresented communities, President Barack Obama created the My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) initiative in 2014. The goal was to create and mobilize coalitions of citizens, community and nonprofit leaders, elected officials, philanthropists, corporate executives and others to collaboratively assess needs, priorities, resources and opportunities to create paths of growth and success for youth.

The Oakland University Office of Pre-college Programs has launched an MBK Initiative for Oakland County. This group focuses on students from the Pontiac, Oak Park, Ferndale, Hazel Park and Southfield school districts. The program uses a three-pillar approach to bettering the lives of underrepresented young men of color. These three pillars include: mentoring, career assessment and exploration, and college access.

What youth have to gain:

  • College preparation and orientation camp experiences
  • Mentorship plus career exploration with successful professionals
  • Personal connection to positive adults for advice and guidance

Persons interested learning more about the MBK initiative can call (248) 370-2450.

Mentoring -
Base Camp

Before climbing a mountain, explorers gather at a main encampment for supplies, shelter and communications. After gathering the information and materials they need, travelers are prepared to embark on their journey. This is the same idea behind OU’s MBK mentoring program. Young men in 7-8th grade are matched with a mentor in the community who is available for advice, helps broaden the young man’s future career aspirations, and provides counseling about his life today and in the future. This will help prepare young men for their own life journeys. All mentors are screened with an extensive background check prior to being matched with an MBK participant.

Career Assessment
and Exploration

MBK aims to show underrepresented youths a variety of professional career and job opportunities they may not normally learn about in their day-to-day lives. MBK participants can visit professional offices and worksites for a variety of fields. The young men will be given the opportunity to talk about their academic interests and learn how these strengths can translate into future careers. The program broadens young men’s awareness about what is possible for their future and where their skills and talents can take them.

College
Access

Navigating through the college system can be confusing, especially for first-generation college students. The MBK program prepares young men for college opportunities by teaching them what skills they need to acquire at the middle and high school levels to help ensure later academic success. Information on school attendance, academic performance, health and wellness, college testing and more are all a part of the college access arm of MBK.

Community
Collaborators

Community collaborators are a group of dedicated parents, educators and professionals from the local area who have come together to work toward implementing the MBK initiative in Oakland County.

Community collaborators have:

  • A role in nurturing a better-educated, more ambitious and more diverse work force
  • A role in nurturing more physically, cognitively, socially and emotionally healthy communities
  • A role in creating stronger communities
  • Opportunities to become more engaged and involved in growing prosperous communities

Collaborators will be members of a youth council that

  • has a meaningful voice in community decision-making
  • identifies youth needs
  • develops ideas for change
  • contributes to safer, non-violent communities
  • engages in a short-term project to expand youth opportunity
  • contributes to long-term vision and goals for youth success
  • enables youth to build confidence
  • inspires youth to create plans to realize their own dreams
Parents

Parents who are interested in enrolling their children in the MBK program should contact their school’s superintendent office.

School District of the City of Pontiac
Oak Park Schools
Ferndale Schools
Hazel Park Schools
Southfield Public Schools