2015 Brotherhood Graduation – A Youth’s Perspective

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This past Tuesday, a prestigious group of young black males participated in the 6th annual College Bound Brotherhood (Brotherhood) graduation celebration at the Scottish Rite Center in Oakland, CA.

The Brotherhood seeks to propel San Francisco Bay Area African-American males into college by supporting them to and through college. The graduation, hosted by the Kapor Center for Social Impact, College Futures Foundation, and the Marcus Foster Education Fund, was extremely impressive and a powerful illustration of what black male success in our community looks like.

During the ceremony, graduates were given an opportunity to announce which institutions they will be attending this coming fall and were presented with kente stoles by members of the Striving Black Brothers Coalition of Chabot College. The extensive list of institutions included: UCLA, Howard, San Francisco State, and Tuskegee University, just to name a few. Several students at the event received scholarships, designated by a maroon cord, courtesy of College Futures Foundation.

Two out of every three young black males who participated will be the first in their families to go to college. Additionally, each graduate will attend either a four year or two year college or university. The simple fact that each graduate in the program achieved the goal of graduating high school and going to college is impactful in itself, considering the obstacles that many young black males face. These graduates are serving as an example of what’s possible for young black males everywhere.

As a rising sophomore at Head Royce School, in Oakland, the graduation was hugely inspiring for me. Even though I served as a volunteer at the event, I was able to reflect on where I want to be when I am a senior. I want to be in the same place as the graduates are – college bound. College is a major step in anyone’s life, and it was absolutely incredible to see so many young men finally get there. I learned a ton about the college process and even tips on how to get through it. I was given exceptional role models to look up to and to learn from as I continue on with my journey. The event was truly spectacular, and I was grateful that I was able to be there. The Brotherhood is helping to change the outcomes for black males; and the significance of that cannot be denied.

By: Malik Ngom, Sophomore, Head Royce School

Evan Robinson

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