On April 29, 2015, the City of New Rochelle accepted President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Community Challenge to take steps to improve the lives of all students and young adults, particularly boys and young men of color. Through a unique partnership between the City of New Rochelle and the City School District, MBKNewRo was born. To celebrate its First Birthday, MBKNewRo held a party at the New Rochelle Public Library on Wednesday evening, 5/11, and approximately 175 people joined the group to mark this momentous occasion. In an hour-long program, leaders of the initiative highlighted the organization’s First-Year Accomplishments and introduced students, parents and employers who are already benefiting from actions taken by MBKNewRo.
“Our First Birthday party was a great success,” notes Councilman Jared Rice, Co-Chair of MBKNewRo. “There is so much excitement and support behind our MBKNewRo efforts that the initiative in this city has snowballed into the most progressive, grassroots effort to improve the lives of boys and young men of color this city has ever seen.
““The connections we now have were largely made possible by the leaders of several dozen non-profits, all of whom are merging their missions for the greater good. This example of selflessness for the sake of a greater goal is what will propel our program forward.”, notes Councilman Rice. “Overall, what makes our program work is the notion that selflessness is more important than personal aggrandizement.”
Leaders of MBKNewRo released a four-page list of Accomplishments. “When you look at what we have accomplished already, you can see the deep level of commitment behind our initiative,” adds Reggie Richardson, Principal of New Rochelle High School and Co-Chair of MBKNewRo. “Leaders in the School District, City officials, partner organizations and local residents are willing to do whatever it takes to help our students and young adults succeed, particularly our boys and young men of color.”
In addition to the informative program, the party featured nine Donation Boards, each one corresponding with an item on the group’s Gift Wish List. “We are very much in start-up mode so we need the financial support of New Rochelle residents,” notes Councilman Rice. “We created a Birthday Wish List that includes nine suggested Gifts to support innovative programming and the hard work of our staff.”
Donations in these Gift categories are being accepted throughout 2016. Checks can be made out to New Rochelle Youth Bureau/MBK, and mailed to New Rochelle Youth Bureau/MBK, 515 North Avenue, New Rochelle, NY 10801.
Picture Caption (L to R): Angela Taylor (Assistant to the Mayor and MBKNewRo Special Events Director), MC of the event Nick Brown (Alum of NRHS/MTV star), Councilman Jared Rice (MBKNewRo Co-Chair), Daniel Bonnet (Advisor to MBKNewRo Milestones 4 and 5 Working Groups), Gustavo Barbosa (MBKNewRo Executive Committee member), Colleen D. Gardephe (MBKNewRo's Managing Director), Reginald Richardson (New Rochelle High School Principal and Co-Chair of MBKNewRo ), Dr. Brian G. Osborne (Schools Superintendent), Devron Chambers (MBKNewRo’s Webmaster)