Newark youth can sign up for mentoring and service programs; Big Brothers, Big Sisters; Mentoring USA, FEMA, partnering with White House initiative

Newark, NJ – February 3, 2015 – Mayor Ras J. Baraka announced today that the City of Newark will host a free registration event for “My Brother’s Keeper Newark” on Thursday, February 5, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., at City Hall, for Newark teenagers. City Hall is located at 920 Broad Street. The event was re-scheduled after the snowstorm of January 27.

The “Community Information & Registration Night” will provide Newark youth with information about programs being offered under the initiative, which is the City’s support of a White House-launched program to engage youth nationally to strengthen their education, enhance their employment skills, keep them away from crime, and engage them in community service.

“In Newark, we will work with, speak to, and hear our young men of color. We will listen to their concerns and issues, and provide them with opportunities to participate in activities and programs that are designed to transform Newark into a City we can all believe in. We are determined to provide them with a quality education, and to protect them from crime and violence,” said Mayor Baraka.

“We will care for our youth, to address their needs and fears. We will tap into the energy, idealism, and power of our City’s youth, and make them a powerful and positive force for good in our community – in both our present and future. In Newark, we will all be ‘My Brother’s Keeper.’ I urge all Newark youth to register at this event, and participate in our programs.”

Newark youth who register will be given “My Brother’s Keeper Newark” membership kits, and learn about programs in which they can participate. These include mentoring opportunities, education programs, and public and community service initiatives.

Partnering organizations in “My Brother’s Keeper Newark” are Mentoring USA, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Essex, Hudson & Union Counties, and Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“As Program Director, under the leadership of our Mayor Ras J. Baraka, I am humbled to lead this effort for the young men of color in the City of Newark. The Mayor has strategically organized a plan to eliminate the achievement gap for our young men and I am excited to spearhead My Brother’s Keeper Newark’s efforts to support his plan and vision. My Brother Keeper’s Newark will empower the youth of our community with the tools they need to succeed in life,” said Program Director Reverend David Jefferson Jr.

The “My Brother’s Keeper Newark” program has already registered numerous successes, engaging Newark youth to participate in its initiatives. One of them, Central High School senior Taj Atkinson, will join “My Brother’s Keeper Newark” leadership at the My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge National Convening at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, February 12.

Along with youth from across the nation, he will serve on the panel “Empowering the Youth Voice,” which will discuss youth engagement, and the personal experiences of panel members.

Mr. Atkinson participated in the Newark “Black Lives Matter” program and the “Young Men and Law Enforcement event at Central High School.


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