Boston expands mentoring for BIPOC students
Boston Mayor Michelle Wu has announced an expansion and enhancement of the city’s mentoring program, with a goal of pairing 1,000 Boston Public Schools students of color with adults.
The expansion, branded as R.E.A.C.H. 1000, is a collaborative effort of the Mayor’s Office of Black Male Advancement, the BPS Division of Student Support and My Brother’s Keeper Boston. The acronym stands for Relationships Empower and Affirm Community Healing.
Last year, Wu created the Office of Black Male Advancement, which Tito Jackson initially proposed several years ago when he was a city councilor. Former mayor Marty Walsh, working with the Obama Foundation, established My Brother’s Keeper Boston.
The first phase of the new collaboration aims to help students develop skills and learn about identity, college and career readiness, financial literacy and community improvement.
“Mentorship is a powerful tool that will empower our youth to excel inside and outside the classroom,” Wu said Oct. 3 in a news release. “I’m thrilled to announce R.E.A.C.H 1000, a mentoring program that will equip our BIPOC students with the tools, resources and support network to help them confidently navigate personal and academic opportunities.”
The Office of Black Male Advancement is working with BPS to connect young people with a network of individuals and organizations that serve as mentors, strengthening an established BPS mentor network and enhancing existing relationships. The office is looking to recruit 1,000 adult mentors over the next two years. Applications for mentors and mentees are available online.
Under the expanded mentoring program, schools and mentees will have access to: Black studies through dual enrollment, financial literacy, reading literacy, digital literacy, college and career pathways, and a Generational Talent Small Grant.
Mentees will also have an opportunity to engage with an Opportunity Lab tailored for BPS Black seniors. The Lab will offer expert level technical support to scholars with their post-secondary plans, including higher education and careers.
Additionally, the Black Male office and BPS are supporting the My Brother’s Keeper Boston Fellows Program, engaging Black male high school students. The program provides opportunities for students to engage in leadership experiences and develop service projects beneficial to the schools they attend and the communities they live in.
Learn more at boston.gov/equity-and-inclusion/reach-1000-mentoring