Inspired by the quote "It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men," a group of six men decided to start mentoring kids in their community. The original goal of the founders was to inspire the kids to want to become more than another statistic of the school-to-prison-to-cemetery pipeline like many before them. What started as a backyard discussion group, grew to group outings and activities focused on exposing the youths to new environments and opportunities.
In 2014, After a group meeting, the youths involved came up with a name they felt best represented the program. The youths decided on My Brothers Keeper 617 (MBK617) and their recommendations and inputs continued to shape the program's foundation. The founders realized that the youths were great advocates for their future, they just needed a good mentor that can provide opportunities and resources that they didn't have access to. This inspired the founders to learn more about the non-profit industry and get them the resources to satisfy their needs. Thus, MBK617 started to shape into the organization it is today. The founders, already business owners, used their platform to inspire the youth to strive to learn new skills and work ethics that will allow them to have a better future. Instead of risking their lives or freedom in criminal activities or working minimum-wage jobs that won't allow them to have the future they desire. This message formed the foundation of MBK617, and help to develop the mission to provide youths with support, opportunities, and resources through education and skill development programs that will allow them to become successful and self-sufficient members of society. We have to offer adequate resources and opportunities that can counter their circumstances, or else we will continue to see them fall victim to the environment surrounding them.
MBK617 also encourages men who have survived this environment to step up and mentor at least one youth in their community. These kids deserve to live and have a chance at a good life.
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