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

New Rochelle City Councilmembers accepting the "My Brother's Keeper" challenge. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Jay G. Wegimont
Mike Muse, the keynote speaker at the New Rochelle summit. Photo Credit: Contributed

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – With the city and school district teaming to accept President Barack Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper” challenge, there will be a Local Action Summit Thursday as they seek to improve educational opportunities for the entire community.

New Rochelle was the only Westchester County municipality to heed the president’s call, which is designed to increase and improve opportunities for youth, specifically minorities, in cities throughout the country.

The Local Action Summit 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 into their careers.”

At the summit, there will be a series of breakout groups, panel discussions and speakers, led by keynote speaker Mike Muse, the “My Brother’s Keeper” National Entrepreneurial Champion.

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.

“The call of ‘My Brother’s Keeper’ New Rochelle is simple and urgent: how can we, as a city, work together to bring our most valuable asset – our young people – to their fullest potential, and especially our most vulnerable group,” City Councilman Jared Rice said. “This is a job for our entire community, and I invite everyone to join us on (Thursday) in setting the course for the future.”

The summit will kick off at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday at the Whitney M. Young Auditorium at the New Rochelle High School. There will be a light supper, followed by Muse’s address and the subsequent breakout groups that will focus on six focus areas. The evening will end with a discussion panel.

“Insuring the success of our young people is not just the responsibility of families and teachers, but of every sector of the community,” New Rochelle High School Principal Reggie Richardson said. “Every step forward that they make will benefit our entire city.” 

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