KIMT News 3 – A nationwide initiative is helping to bring mentors to young at risk youth.
As a way to help unlock the potential of young men, President Obama is introducing the “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative.
The goal is by partnering young men of color with businesses and local groups, they can learn positive skills to use in their future.
According to a White House study, 86 percent of African-American and 82 percent of Latino youth read below a fourth grade level. They hope this initiative can change that.
As a mentor and Director of the North Iowa Youth Center, Regan Banks works with at-risk students and says he knows how much a mentor can impact the lives of young people.
“Education is number one and helps give values in our homes and spread them abroad and make sure our young kids have someone to look up to. That’s most important, to look up to to look up to someone, a father figure or some person that instills things into your life that you can live for,” said Banks.
Regan recalls his own past and how he was able to overcome adversity to become the former mayor of Manly.
Facing 25 years behind bars after his third and last offense, Regan was given a second chance by a judge.
Since then, Regan has turned his life around and focused on giving young people opportunities to better themselves and stay out of trouble.
Through the President’s support as well as several businesses committing to investing in these youth, Regan says he sees a bright future for these students.
As part of the “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative, companies around the country have already raised $150 million and look to reach $200 million over the next five years.
Funds will be used through education and school reform as well as parent engagement and criminal justice communication.