Curators of Black Media


73 High School Juniors from 25 School Districts Identified as Leaders

The State Education Department today named the fourth class of My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Fellows who have been identified as leaders in their MBK Communities and who will be provided with mentor relationship opportunities in government, education and business, Commissioner Betty A. Rosa announced. The 73 Fellows, all high school juniors, represent 25 New York State school districts. The My Brother’s Keeper initiative helps boys and young men of color—and all students—realize their full potential.

“During this time of uncertainty and unrest, the 2021 My Brother’s Keeper Fellows have the opportunity to redefine what is normal and chart their own course as students and citizens of their communities; I urge them to embrace this moment,” Board of Regents Chancellor Lester W. Young, Jr. said. “MBK removes barriers to opportunities and empowers young people of color to affect change through the ideals of diversity, equity and inclusion. We will continue to grow this initiative and create a generation of leaders prepared for civic duty and deeply committed to social justice.”

“Many of our Fellows have faced years of educational, social, political and economic challenges,” Commissioner Rosa said. “Through MBK, these remarkable young men are seeing doors open to opportunities that will serve them throughout their lives. The Department is committed to continuing this good work. I thank Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and their colleagues for their continued support of New York’s MBK Program and their commitment to creating opportunities for success for all New Yorkers.”

“Since its inception, New York’s My Brother’s Keeper program has inspired countless young men and touched the lives of many families,” said NYS Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie. “During these unprecedented times, it is a breath of fresh air to take a moment to acknowledge the youth and the greatness they have accomplished, as well as their promising futures. The 2021 My Brother’s Keeper Fellows are a group of resilient young men, who unlike those before them are facing a global pandemic, while navigating the many adversities that come their way. Although we have had to alter how we live, learn, and communicate, this cohort of MBK Fellows have seized the moment. I am immensely proud that I and my Assembly Majority colleagues have championed the My Brother’s Keeper program. Congratulations to you all!”

NYS Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said, “I congratulate our newest cohort of MBK fellows, and I am thrilled to see so many promising students from my District. This has been an extremely difficult school year, and our new fellows should be applauded for the adversity they have overcome. MBK will further help remove barriers, while creating opportunities for young men of color to unlock their potential and, through mentorship, learn effective ways to achieve their goals and follow their dreams.”    

Each Fellow will be matched with a mentor from a NYSMBK Community Network partner and be given the opportunity of a fellowship. Each will also be required to develop and execute a service project related to a NYSMBK initiative, such as:

  • Ensuring equitable access to high-quality schools and programs;
  • Expanding prevention, early warning and intervention services;
  • Responding to structural and institutional racism; or
  • Engaging families and communities in a trusted and respectful way.

In addition, these Fellows will serve on a statewide MBK Fellows Workgroup to provide valuable input on the development and implementation of a statewide MBK Mentoring Network.

The approved MBK Community Networks were eligible to apply to the Fellows Program and consist of a partnership between the Office of the Mayor and the School District Superintendent (or the Chancellor in New York City). Additionally, for this program, each Community Network must secure a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with a local postsecondary education institution, local business or community-based organization.

2021 Fellows had the opportunity to participate in the virtual Stand and Deliver program and a virtual Induction during the 2021 MBK Symposium.

The 2021 MBK Fellows are:

MBK Community 2021 MBK Fellows School
AlbanyGideon GoldmannAlbany High School
Marcus TreeceAlbany High School
BrentwoodJoshua CastellanosBrentwood High School
Juan DelgadoBrentwood High School
Alijah McLeodBrentwood High School
Angelo RiveraBrentwood High School
BuffaloJaden CoronadoBuffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts
Prince MandilouRiverside High School
Izzak RingerEast High School
Sadik SadikMcKinley High School
East RamapoJulius NyarkoEast Ramapo High School
Jeremy WhiteSpring Valley High School
GreenburghSavon DixonWoodlands Middle/High School
Glenford Graham, Jr.Woodlands Middle/High School
HudsonLebron FrazierHudson High School
Isaiah MainesHudson High School
IthacaKhyrihan JohnsonIthaca High School
Sai’d GallowayIthaca High School
LyonsJaylen BattleLyons Middle/High School
Quintin FranklinLyons Middle/High School
MonticelloCollen BarbatoMonticello High School
Donovan DuBoseMonticello High School
Mount PleasantElijah WalkerMount Pleasant Cottage School
Jean-Ronaldo Jean-BaptisteEdenwald School
Mt. VernonJohn Aden HarveyDenzel Washington School of the Arts
Deshawn WallenMount Vernon STEAM Academy
New RochelleRichie BarajasNew Rochelle High School
Michael NavarroNew Rochelle High School
Miles Renwick-ArchiboldNew Rochelle High School
Quincy SimmonsNew Rochelle High School
NewburghGiovahni JacksonNewburgh Free Academy West Campus
Jacob LopezNewburgh Free Academy Main Campus
Daniel RegoNewburgh Free Academy North Campus
Matthew WorrellNewburgh Free Academy Main Campus
NYC BronxElliot BabiloniaFordham High School for the Arts
Jonathan DelgadoEagle Academy for Young Men
Kwame OpokuEagle Academy for Young Men
Derek RomanBronx Studio for Writers and Artists
NYC BrooklynEsau AllenMillennium High School
Jeremy AnthonyBenjamin Banneker Academy
Kimario DavisThe School for Human Rights
Gabriel InnissBenjamin Banneker Academy
NYC ManhattanOluwadamilare AkabashorunA. Philip Randolph Campus High School
Daniel AsamoahA. Philip Randolph Campus High School
Joshua BarrEagle Academy for Young Men of Harlem
Shawn RileyFrederick Douglass Academy
NYC QueensIssac DavisChannel View School for Research
Jaden GabbChannel View School for Research
Hussien KhatariRichmond Hill High School
Rasheem RobertsBenjamin Franklin High School for Finance
NYC Staten IslandKehinde AdeosoEagle Academy for Young Men of Staten Island
Zion ThreatsRalph McKee High School
Rasheem WilliamsEagle Academy for Young Men of Staten Island
OssiningJoash BrownOssining High School
John JaramaOssining High School
PeekskillLamar A. KingwoodPeekskill High School
Tyler J. RobertsonPeekskill High School
PoughkeepsieJayden ChambersPoughkeepsie High School
Elijah JohnsonPoughkeepsie High School
RochesterMichael MorganEdison Career & Technology High School
Carl SmithEdison Career & Technology High School
Oscar SotoLeadership Academy for Young Men
Thailand WalkerLeadership Academy for Young Men
SyracuseStephon Adams, Jr.Institute of Technology at Syracuse Central
Syinih ClarkNottingham High School
Anthony SouthammavongPublic Service Leadership Academy at Fowler
Malcolm StarlingPublic Service Leadership Academy at Fowler
White PlainsAnthony EspinosaWhite Plains High School
Randy MorochoWhite Plains High School
YonkersFidel A. BlancoLincoln High School
Khristian CrawfordRoosevelt High School Early College Studies
Iandel Jeremy Hernandez LopezRoosevelt High School Early College Studies
Marcus J. WaltersRiverside High School

In 2014, former President Barack Obama established the My Brother’s Keeper Task Force at the federal level. The Task Force was an interagency effort focused on closing and eliminating the opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color so that all young people have the chance to reach their full potential. With the adoption of the 2016–17 New York State budget, New York became the first state to accept the President’s challenge and enacted the My Brother’s Keeper initiative into law. The budget included a $20 million investment in support of the initiative to improve outcomes for boys and young men of color. 

The MBK Fellows Program provides leadership opportunities to rising high school seniors, with an emphasis on boys and young men of color. With this year’s class, New York State has now inducted 247 Fellows. Each is paired with a mentor from a NYSMBK Community Network partner and participates in a fellowship in a local government office, partnering business or educational institute. NYSED has awarded over $1 million in grant funds to support this program since 2016.  

NYSED has awarded $3.6 million in grants for the MBK Exemplary School Models and Practices Program since 2016. In this program, grant recipients partner with demographically similar Struggling or Persistently Struggling schools in another district within their region to replicate exemplary practices that demonstrate cultural and linguistic responsiveness to emphasize the needs of boys and young men of color. 

Since 2016, NYSED has awarded over $2.5 million in grants funds to 11 school districts for the MBK Native American Program, to increase the academic achievement and college/career readiness of Native American students, with an emphasis on boys and young men.  

Also since 2016, NYSED has awarded more than $24 million in grants to 45 school districts for the My Brother’s Keeper Family and Community Engagement Program. These grants support programs to increase the academic achievement and college and career readiness of boys and young men of color while fostering the development of effective relationships with families to promote the success of all students. 

NYSED has awarded $35 million in MBK Challenge Grants since 2016 to more than 40 school districts. The MBK Challenge Grant Program is designed to encourage regions and school districts to develop and execute coherent cradle-to-career college strategies. These programs are aimed to develop and sustain effective relationships with families of boys and young men of color toward the goal of success for all students. 

Finally, since 2016 NYSED has awarded $15 million in Teacher Opportunity Corps II (TOC II) Grants to increase the participation rate of historically underrepresented and economically disadvantaged individuals in teaching careers. NYSED awarded grants to 16 colleges and universities to help them bolster the retention of highly qualified individuals who value equity and reflect the diversity inside and outside of our classrooms, particularly in high-need schools with recurrent teacher shortages.  

Visit the Department’s My Brother’s Keeper website for details on this movement and for information on how to subscribe to the MBK Newsletter, “Changing the Narrative.”

Stuart Brown is an Actor, Communications Consultant, and Author. He is also the Entertainment Editor for Black Media Daily, a 24/7 media outlet providing a voice for black content creators and a place to control their image throughout the Diaspora. Stuart is also the co-author of the book Blueprint which discusses the everyday tactics of winning.