Our mission is to help our young men of color access college, career, and life success. We do this through mentoring, academic monitoring and support, and exposing students to new ideas, places, experiences and college and career options. We want to be the program where “opportunity meets preparation” for young men. We are very troubled by and want to help close achievement, opportunity, and wealth gaps.
Young Man with a Plan:
Is a 4-year program of sustained mentoring serving 80 Black and Latino teens, currently in four 9th and 11th grade groups that meet weekly in Dorchester and Hyde Park
Serves students “in the middle” who both have potential and are at risk of getting lost
Is a cross-sector collaboration between Boston’s district, charter, and one faith-based school
Has a focus on both academic and social-emotional growth
Provides a safe place for young men from all Boston neighborhoods and different cultures to meet together to share their hopes, fears, challenges and achievements
Is led by two full-time program directors who are young adult males of color who lead weekly meetings and support and coach young men as they go through personal, school, and family challenges. Directors also train and lead the mentor cohort.
Has a male of color mentor team of 10, one in each participating school, who help students to achieve academic gains. Mentors alsoform a supportive brotherhood, receive 24 hours of professional development, and bring the learning back into their schools
Helps students understand college/career options and develop a Success Plan
Includes community service, cultural events, and a NH weekend wilderness trip
Provides opportunities for young men to meet and learn from successful men through their leaders, mentors, Men of Color Career Night, and enrichment like Excel Training, SAT Writing, Financial Literacy, and filmmaking, taught by men of color
Is guided by a diverse cross-sector Board of Boston’s respected school leaders
What Distinguishes YMWAP from Other Mentoring Programs
Brotherhood across sectors, across the city:
YMWAP is cross sector/cross race/cross neighborhood/cross culture. We have created a brotherhood that builds understanding and breaks down walls.
Sustained relationship, trust-building, and sharing of current and past trauma
Weekly meetings are a great time of brotherhood, checking in and discussion. Our work, however, continues outside of the meeting. Young men have our cell phones and there is ongoing communication, often to address acute issues at home, in school or in relationships. Over four years of building trust young men know that we really care about them. This results in young men sharing their deepest concerns around adverse personal experiences and challenges.
Serving young men in the middle
YMWAP serves a somewhat forgotten population who is at risk of failing to progress and needs attention to grow. Our young men all progress over the course of the program.
A program team of leaders and mentors--all men of color
Excellent leadership and an extended mentor team who serve as role models for brotherhood, provide support for each other and encourage each other's growth.
Over 75% of our young men progress academically and 100% grow socially and emotionally. Negative outcomes like teen parenthood, involvement in the criminal justice system, relationship violence, drug or alcohol abuse, and school suspension or expulsion are nearly nonexistent.
Demand for the program
YMWAP has a great and growing reputation. Our roster is full (80+) and the demand continues with constant requests to join or bring a friend. This is rarely the case for an after-school program that high school students must travel to get to.