In 2014, President Barack Obama launched the My Brother’s Keeper initiative to ensure that all youth, including boys and young men of color, have opportunities to improve their life outcomes and overcome barriers to success.

As part of that launch, the President also established the My Brother’s Keeper Task Force to review public and private sector programs, policies, and strategies, and determine ways the Federal Government can better support these efforts. The Task Force was also charged with determining how to better involve State and local officials, the private sector, and the philanthropic community.

MBK Success Mentors was the nation’s first-ever effort to scale an evidence-based, data-driven mentor model to reach and support the highest risk students. Mentors receive training to serve as motivators, problem solvers, connectors, and advocates, and help them form supportive relationships, identify and celebrate student’s strengths, promote their attendance every day, and connect them with the necessary supports to keep them on track and thriving. Mentors are typically assigned 3-5 students as mentees, and meet with students 3 times per week in school all year.

This MBK Success Mentors model was supported by a public-private network which included the following key U.S. Department of Education collaborators: Dr. Robert Balfanz of Johns Hopkins University’s Everyone Graduates Center, the Ad Council, the Arnold Foundation, Attendance Works, the Center for Supportive Schools, City Year, the Corporation for National and Community Service, MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, United Way, the Mott Foundation, Roc Nation, STATE Bags, and Viacom’s Get Schooled.

Learn More about My Brother’s Keeper

Using Data and the Human Touch

Following a 2008 report that documented the extent of chronic absenteeism in New York City's schools, the city organized an interagency task force to develop and implement a citywide effort to reduce chronic absenteeism. Given the size of the city school system and the scope of chronic absenteeism, the effort became the nation's most comprehensive campaign against absenteeism.

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100 Schools

100 schools found that these efforts significantly improved students' attendance rates and reduced chronic absenteeism.