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Daily Gazette Story: Union, Schenectady program brings 'young men of color' together
Posted on 02/07/2018
Daily Gazette Photo of Oneida MS Students February 06 2018

A dozen Union College students — all men of color — met last week to finalize plans for a new mentoring program that will bring about 30 Schenectady students to campus each week.

The black and Latino college students, hailing from New York City, Georgia, Texas, Schenectady and elsewhere, will serve as confidants, tutors and friends to the Schenectady students — seventh-, eighth- and ninth-graders who are also young men of color.

The program’s organizers hope that by bringing the students to campus and letting them spend time with college students who look like them and hail from similar backgrounds they will begin to picture a similar path for themselves.

“The sheer presence of being young men of color on a college campus, you are giving these kids something to look up to,” Jason Benitez, director of the Union Office of Multicultural Affairs, told the college mentors during the planning meeting. “It is so, so, so important we do what we can to not have these young men fall through the cracks.”

The new mentorship program is part of My Brother’s Keeper, an organization established by former President Barack Obama. New York state has joined a coalition of programs under the My Brother’s Keeper umbrella, giving out grants to support programs like the one recently established in Schenectady.

Click here to read more about the program

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