Brothers at Bard
Brothers at Bard is a character development, peer mediation and mentorship outreach program for young men of color from underserved communities. The program is currently working with 15 high schoolers between 9th and 12th grade from Kingston, New York. The project is made up of active members of the Brothers at Bard forum group on campus. The members on campus play the role of “big brothers,” or mentors, to the young men in the group, and provide support through a variety of mentoring strategies. Individualized mentoring takes place every Friday during lunch periods at Kingston High School, and group mentoring takes place every other Friday evening at the Boys and Girls Club. Group mentoring takes the form of group oriented character development sessions that we call Brotherhood Circles. The Brotherhood circle is made up of all the Kingston mentees, and the college level BAB mentors. BAB mentors are available to speak with the students one on one when they are going through personal issues, or just need someone to talk to. Brothers at Bard also hosts events to foster community building among its members and provide a unique space on campus for male students of color to feel comfortable and address social issues. In February, Brothers At Bard organized a Parent Engagement Event on Bard's campus and hosted the parents of the students we work with in Kingston. The purpose of the event was to increase parental support in the household and create a space where the parents could meet the mentors. Brothers at Bard also recently held a Men Of Color Conference on Bard's campus that included all the Brothers At Bard mentors and mentees, as well as the members and advisers of a similar character development program from NYC called Brothers On a New Direction The conference was a space to connect young men of color from Kingston to other young men from NYC who share similar struggles and experiences.
Brothers at Bard has the unique ability to empower young men by exposing them not only to successful men of color, but to men of color currently attending a highly selective 4-year college. The mentors personally understand the struggle that comes with growing up as a man a color and have experienced firsthand the crisis that engulfs the young men we work with. The mentors run a series of character development workshops and team building activities with the group to ultimately promote academic excellence and college readiness. The mentees also get to experience a unique exposure to Bard’s campus through events specifically coordinated for them by their mentors. Our most important objective is to create a safe space and brotherhood circle amongst the students to generate a supportive atmosphere for character and identity development. To continue our work with underserved and under resourced young men of color in Kingston, Brothers at Bard needs your help to fundraise $2,000 towards our cause.