My Brother's Keeper - Houston Movement

Houston's youth face many challenges during their developmental years leading into adulthoold. That is particularly true for young men of color. Many indicators show that this group consistently rank lower than their peers on measures such as high school graduation rates, household income, employment and neighborhood safety. This group is also more likely to have encounters with law enforcement and the criminal justice system. The My Brother's Keeper (MBK) initiative, aims to address these inequitable conditions faced by boys and young men of color.

Although the MBK initiative will be an ambitious undertaking for our city. We believe the time, energy, and effort invested in improving outcomes for our youth today will lead to a better quality of life for all Houstonians tomorrow. This translates to better economic conditions for families and increased access to quality education for all children and youth, improved health outcomes for our residents, a well trained workforce that can meet the challenges of the future, greater access to resources, safer neighborhoods, and a host of other factors.

Six Goals

My Brother’s Keeper Houston established six goals for life achievement

  • Goal 1: Enter School Ready to Learn

  • Goal 2: Read on 3rd Grade Level by the 3rd Grade

  • Goal 3: Graduate High School Ready for College or Career

  • Goal 4: Complete Post-Secondary Education or Training

  • Goal 5: Enter the Workforce Successfully

  • Goal 6: Reduce Crime and Violence and Provide Second Chance Opportunities

President's Challenge President Obama launched the My Brother's Keeper initiative to address persistent opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color and ensure that all people can reach their full potential. Through this initiative, the Administration is joining with cities and towns, businesses, and foundations who are taking important steps to connect young people to mentoring, support networks, and the skills they need to find a good job or go to college and work their way into the middle class. "If you work hard and play by the rules, you should have the opportunity to succeed, and your ability to get ahead should be determined by your hard work, ambition, and go by the circumstances of your birth."
-President Barack Obama -State of the Union, January 25, 2014

Why MBK?

Education is imperative to the future success and vitality of Houston. Reducing chronic absence in our schools will ensure that our children reach their highest academic and economic potential.
Source: When Students Miss School: The High Cost to Houston.

FACTS:

  • 31% of Houston males 18 to 24 years of age are enrolled in college or graduate school as compared to 39% nationally

  • 25.8% of males 18 to 24 years of age in Houston have not completed high school 

  • 12,000 Number of teens ages 16 to 19 in Houston not attending school and not working

  • 48,000 Number of boys and men of color (0 to 25 years of age) in MBK areas

  • 0.04% of Spanish speaking students are meeting the Total Literacy Benchmark in pre-K (2015-2016)

  • 12.8% of English speaking students are meeting the Total Literacy Benchmark in pre-K (2015-2016)

  • 31% of the students in one of the elementary schools in the MBK area who met 3rd Grade reading benchmarks

  • 97% of the schools in MBK areas have at least 71% of their students who are economically disadvantaged

  • 7 Number of schools in the MBK area with NO books circulated from the school libraries during the previous school calendar

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