My Brother's Keeper
"I grew up without a father. I got high. I came up with excuses. I didn't take school serious at all times. I made some mistakes and bad decisions."
Were these spoken from a teenager who has found themselves behind bars? Perhaps, a father who is just reentering his child's life after ten plus years? Neither. These were the words of the most powerful man in the free world. The commander in chief. The POTUS. El Presidente. The President himself; Barack Obama as he sits in a circle of minority males who call themselves B.A.M. (Becoming A Man), which is a mentoring group at Highpark Academy in Chicago. Those young men weren't just close to President Obama in proximity that day, but they felt close to him in transparency becuase he shared his struggles as a minority male and the boys in the circle most certainly could relate.
This was the platform of President Obama's address as he publicly introduced the new initiative called "My Brother's Keeper". Prior to President Obama's address, Christian Champaign (an 18 year old African American Male) gave an introductory speech that was out of this world. He did an OUTSTANDING job. I could not help,but cry (YES, I SAID CRY!) because this young man will NEVER forget this day of his life as well as the excitement you could see in his eyes and the hope in his heart. "My Brother's Keeper" is an initiative created in order to assist with the plight of the young men of color's life, education, and service.
Throughout this address, President Obama covered issues such as education, povertry, social skills, jobs, higher education, going to jail, moral issues, negative behavior, family and parenting. "My Brother's Keeper" will be an initiative to see that minority males are well versed in these areas, have the opportunities other males are afforded, while raising them up to be gentlmen and scholars and ulimately upstanding citizens of this country. I absolutely cannot wait until this initiative launches! I was also excited to hear how much this program would be funded by investors over the next 5 years; which was somewhere between $150 to $400 million dollars said President Obama. I anticipate the fruit that will come from this initiative and pray whomever comes behind President Obama will keep it as a priority.
President Obama Quotables
"Nothing keeps a young man out of trouble than a father who takes an active role in his life."
"We will beat the odds. We need to give every child...the chance to reach their full potential."
"Nothing will be given to you. The world is tough out there... but I know you guys can succeed."
"Any adult who cares can make a difference. It doesn't take that much, but it takes more than we're doing now."
"By boosting reading levels, we can help more of our kids make the grade."
"We all have a job to do and we can do it together. Black and white. Urban and rural. Democrat and Republican."
"I can see myself in these young men. The only difference is I grew up in an environment that was a little more forgiving."