Mentoring for the Future
Mentorship is an evidence-based practice that has been shown to improve behavior, and increase rates of promotion, graduation, college acceptance, and college completion.
In the 1990s, several books and articles on the poor that highlighted the social, academic, employment and economic outlook for Black youth, especially boys, shocked the nation and greatly disturbed our members. One such article revealed that seventy-five percent of New York State inmates came from seven specific neighborhoods in New York City. This article, and an inspired return from the 1995 Million Man March, drove OHBM to begin a major undertaking to uplift the young people of New York City and improve long-term outcomes for boys and color.
Our two main initiatives to accomplish this goal were the creation of the Eagle Academy and establishment of the Junior One Hundred Mentoring Program (JOH).
Junior One Hundred
OHBM is committed to creating a generation of powerful leaders. Our Junior One Hundred Mentoring Program begins in middle school and positively impacts student outcomes all the way through college graduation.
The Junior One Hundred is a youth leadership and career exposure program open to students ages 12 to 24. The program focuses on Career Exploration, Character Development, Personal Growth, and Mentorship. The 2022 JOH career tracks include: Business, Medicine, Law, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.)
1) Expose young people to professional business careers.
2) Provide a base knowledge of opportunities in careers for the future.
3) Promote entrepreneurship to whet their appetites to someday start and/or own businesses and create generational wealth.
4) Provide a familiarity with college and corporate environments.
5) Increase levels of basic financial literacy and an understanding of wealth equity.
Other outcomes may include creating a start-up company and securing job or internship offers. The Junior One Hundred is also a bridge to our college scholarship and internship program.
- Junior One Hundred Legacy – 300 high school junior and senior students, in six cohorts, meet weekly for 17 weeks on various campuses. Each JOH session consists of lessons from our core curriculum – highlighted by Fireside Chats given by OHBM members and experts from the career areas listed above. To enhance the experience of JOH scholars, trips, job shadowing, career days, and other activities are included.
- Impact Sessions – Partnering with the NYC Young Men’s Initiative (YMI), college sites, corporate sponsors and others, OHBM conducts forums and conferences for JOH scholars and other program participants from middle school through graduate school. The conferences feature members of OHBM, celebrities, youth leaders and NYC officials who address the young men on topics chosen by our 30 JOH Ambassadors and participant surveys. Up to 500 students will participate in at least one conference in 2022.
- Mentoring – Employing a youth initiated mentoring approach, OHBM matches members of OHBM and other caring adults from corporate sponsors and communities with JOH students and scholars from middle school to senior year in high school. Group mentoring sessions are 45 minutes long and feature a mentor to mentee ratio up to 1:10. Mentoring sessions are developmentally appropriate and topics include grooming, etiquette, time management, financial literacy, conflict resolution and mediation, career planning, college retention, preparation for manhood, civic engagement, and other subjects.
- College Mentoring – OHBM supports 20 college students via virtual meetings focused on college persistence and completion. Monthly sessions, conducted by OHBM members and corporate partners, focus on elements of the college experience including course selection; study routines; friends/networking; faculty relationships; campus life: dating, fraternities/sororities; finding and securing internships; and career development. There is also room for scholars to share emerging issues and have one-on-one sessions.
New York City’s first all-boys public school in over thirty years, was founded by OHBM in 2004 and continues to defy an entrenched American mindset by insisting that young black and brown men are not one of America’s problems but, instead, one of its greatest assets.