Young men from across the city come together to bond, raise socio-political consciousness, and positively shape their identities.
Abraham Lincoln once famously said, “The best way to predict your future is to create it.” The ESI Young Men’s Gatherings is doing just that as young men from across the city are coming together for pro-social bonding opportunities. Young people, especially our young men, must be seen not as they are presently but as they will be…future leaders: doctors, nurses, lawyers, teachers, engineers, architects, elected officials, scientists, writers, and artists.
Young Men’s Gatherings
The Expanded Success Initiative is focused on increasing life outcomes of black and Latino males who attend NYC public schools by closing educational achievement and opportunity gaps and preparing them to graduate from high school college and career ready. ESI is more than increasing graduation rates. There is a concerted effort to create substantial change in the lives of our young men.
Black and Latino young men gather together five times during the school year to hear from positive role models, view impactful screenings of films and documentaries, and participate in workshops designed to raise socio-political consciousness and positively shape their identity. These gatherings help to increase students’ life outcomes through ESI’s commitment to help black and Latino men enter, persist, and succeed in college and careers.
ESI does this through practices that build stronger relationships, improve classroom climate, increase engagement and sociopolitical consciousness, and increase academic rigor. In an age where connections are oftentimes made on virtual and social media platforms, these gatherings also allow our young men to physically network and connect with peers from across NYC.
Examples of past gatherings include:
- Creating the Future NowAfter listening to relevant, notable speakers, the young men participated in a town hall session to talk about their experiences growing up black and Latino in NYC: their fears and concerns and also their goals and aspirations. Activities were designed for students to share their own ideas about how they can see themselves as advocates, activists and change agents. The goal was for the young men to leave thinking about the small but powerful things they can do to make big differences in their community.
- Envision, Believe, AchieveThe Envision, Believe, Achieve program enlightened and inspired the young men to cultivate their visions of personal and professional success and to create their personal plans for achievement. The program developed and motivated youth leaders to be committed to their personal growth, to take an interest in social justice issues impacting their communities, and to organize their peers for social action.