President Barack Obama recently called for more extensive efforts by political and social leaders to encourage achievement among Hispanic and black males.
The president unveiled his “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative to keep teenagers on track throughout their formative years, reports Paul Savramis, founder of Rising Stars. Appearing alongside Obama at the public announcement were teenagers enrolled in the Chicago-based “Becoming a Man” program, which serves at-risk youth in the city. Special guests in attendance at the event included Rahm Emanuel, Michael Bloomberg, Colin Powell and Earvin “Magic” Johnson.
Under the new initiative, community groups, foundations and businesses work together to devise support programs that allow young people greater access to educational and social resources. A number of foundations have donated upwards of $200 million to promote this program, notes Paul Savramis. These community leaders and teachers are serving as an example of what youth can accomplish when they work hard in school.
Obama also signed a presidential memorandum developing a task force to examine the impact of various approaches. As a result, community groups, local governments and businesses can have a set of standards to follow during future programs. Paul Savramis reports that a new online portal will be designed to offer public access to information about these programs.
Recent statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau underscore the need for improvement in opportunities for minority populations. According to Paul Savramis, the unemployment rate exceeded 12 percent among African-American men 20 and older. Hispanic men in the same age bracket had an unemployment rate over 8 percent. On the other hand, only 5.4 percent of white men were out of work. At the “My Brother’s Keeper” announcement, Obama stated that this issue has taken on national importance and stressed his desire to uphold the United States as the land of opportunity.
By nearly every measure, young men of color are experiencing the worst hardships in their communities, says Paul Savramis. Helping these youth is both an economic and a moral issue. Paul Savramis and the team at Rising Stars continue to provide character development and academic support for children from all backgrounds in order to strengthen local communities.