This post was written by Jason B. Allen, an earlier version ran on the EdLanta education blog.

Recently, our school, 7 Pillars Career Academy partnered with an organization in Atlanta called Young Men Rising. This organization was presented on our platform at the beginning of the school year for middle schools in Clayton, Dekalb and Henry county.

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms made a call for mentors earlier this year for Black boys in the City of Atlanta. She urged Metro Atlanta residents to rally together and ensure that all boys in Metro Atlanta areas had strong mentors.

Well, Young Men Rising is one of the organizations that stepped up to support social, emotional learning in schools.

“Mentorship is a great resource to the success of Black boys!”

I’ve seen first hand the impact the mentoring program is doing with the young men enrolled in the program. I see it daily in class. I believe that Black boys need consistency with strong, influential and business-minded Black male mentors who can reinforce the importance of community and family in a positive way.

Young Men Rising is doing mentoring a little differently. The organization works hand in hand to reach the goals the school and/or district has set for social, emotional learning. This directly impacts Black boys. The organization recently held a silent auction to help raise funds for their mentoring program and further drive their work.

Consistency, affirmation, and accountability are key elements of development that young boys need and desire.

Young Men Rising’s partnership with 7 Pillars is reforming how we do mentorship. The mentoring program and SEL Department at 7 Pillars are bringing together impact lessons that are breaking barriers with the boys enrolled.

Most importantly, Young Men Rising partnership with 7 Pillars reaffirms the importance of social-emotional learning as a strong resource to bridge the gap between special educational needs, academics and the social engagement Black boy needs to excel.

I’m challenging Metro Atlanta school leaders to get Young Men Rising at their school programs to change up the social dynamics at lunch to provide better educational outcomes for Black boys. Sign up your school or your son today!


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