New Rochelle Accepts Obama's 'My Brother's Keeper' Challenge

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – Local elected officials are teaming with members of the City School District of New Rochelle to accept President Barack Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper Challenge” to improve educational opportunities for the entire community.

The New Rochelle City Council accepting President Barack Obama's "My Brother's Keeper" challenge.
The New Rochelle City Council accepting President Barack Obama's "My Brother's Keeper" challenge. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Jay G. Wegimont

New Rochelle is one of hundreds of municipalities that have heeded the president’s call, which is aimed at increasing and improving opportunities for youth, specifically those of color, in the city.

As part of the challenge, the city will host a Local Action Summit next month at the high school, which will “focus on creating action steps to address six areas of focus – the goals of the challenge – that are critical to ensuring that youth can succeed from pre-K, all the way up through college and their careers.”

According to New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson, a coalition of local leaders, including members of the City Council, school district, community organizer David Peters and Youth Bureau Director Kelly Johnson have been outwardly encouraging the acceptance of the president’s challenge.

“A healthy community can’t afford to waste anyone’s talents, and all young people deserve a real chance to achieve their potential,” he said. “Through My Brother’s Keeper, we have an opportunity to bring together a wide spectrum of local leadership, with the shared goal of building an even stronger city in which everyone counts and everyone can succeed.”

Under the challenge, all children will be emotionally, socially and physically prepared to attend classes, with all children literate by the third grade. Other specific goals include ensuring that every youth graduates high school, completes post-secondary education and come out prepared for gainful employment.

“This ‘cradle to career’ approach intended to eliminate opportunity gaps, barriers and challenges facing youth in our community, primarily boys and young men of color, is exactly what is needed in New Rochelle to allow all people to reach their potential,” Councilman Jared Rice said. “What is particularly exciting about this process is that the city and school district have entered into a historic partnership regarding ‘My Brother’s Keeper.’”

New Rochelle High School Principal Reggie Richardson noted that this is the school district’s latest attempts to ensure equality for all city students.

“We are very pleased the city has accepted President Obama’s ‘My Brother’s Keeper’ challenge,” he said. “The city’s partnership with us on this critical initiative is yet another testament to the commitment of the entire New Rochelle community to all students. We are eager to continue the specific work of the challenge that will support all young people lead successful and productive lives.” 

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