The United Way Community Assessment 2013-2014 indicated that there is a shortage of mentors available in the Greater Omaha area and there is a need to expand this support service.
In 2008, the 100BMO created the Leadership and Mentoring Academy (LMA), formally YMMI to address the need for mentoring. Our mentoring program promotes goal setting, positive decision making, career exploration, high school graduation, and post-secondary education for males in grades 9th through 12th.
Because of the continued need for mentoring in Omaha, the LMA’s One-to-One mentoring was expanded to include 6th 7th, and 8th grade; a group mentoring component was also added to the 100 Saturday Academy. Mentors and volunteers attend 100 Saturday Academy sessions to work with students and to serve as positive role models. This has a positive impact on our students’ self-esteem, helping them to become Respectful, Responsible, and Ready to Lead.
Mentees spent one-on-one time with their mentors and also participate in a series of two-hour group mentoring Saturday workshops. Monthly workshops include Conflict Resolution, Goal Setting, SAT/ACT Prep, Developing Employability Skills, STD Awareness, and Healthy Relationships. Workshops are facilitated by educators, celebrities, and leaders across many industries and professions.
Many of our mentees volunteer at the 100 Saturday Academy and other community service projects. Mentees are provided job opportunities during the school year and summer and also participate at the 100BMO Men of Honor Annual Gala.
Additionally, mentees are provided an array of cultural and community enrichment events such as the following:
· 4th Annual Striving for Success Summit (September 2013) – In collaboration with the Urban League of Nebraska and the Empowerment Network, we held our annual summit for incoming African American high school freshmen. Students were made aware of the challenges and negative statistics they are faced with. Throughout the day-long summit, students were provided tools and resources to assist them in overcoming these adversities. The goal of the summit was to help set students on a pathway to success. Over 140 students attended the event at Metropolitan Community College. 40 plus African American men presented and engaged the youth throughout the day and Josh Jones (Creighton University graduate and former basketball player) served as the keynote luncheon speaker.
· A Call for Change, Black Male Achievement Conference (February 2014) – In collaboration with Black Men United and Goodwill Industries, we conducted this two-day conference. The conference’s focus was to help develop strategies for organizations to change the present trajectory of black males living in America. Over 100 men and North Omaha youth participated in the event. During the conference, organizations shared best practices that are having a positive impact on our youth. National presenters included Shawn Dove, Executive Director, Open Society Foundation/Black Male Achievement Initiative, and Phillip Jackson, Executive Director, Black Star Project who shared their perspective and the positive results of effective national programs.
· Empowerment Network Annual Conference and Forum (May 2014) – Mentees, mentors, and members participated in the conference. LMA mentees participated in the youth forums and also served on the Youth Discussion Panel.
Studies have shown that children involved with mentors and mentoring programs are
· 46% are less likely to begin using drugs
· 27% are less likely to use alcohol
· 33% are less likely to engage in violence
· 52% are less likely to skip school
Substantial results include: a 100% LMA graduation rate since 2008, 85% of LMA graduates attend post-secondary educational institutions. Our graduation rate, GPA, and post-secondary enrollment speak to the success of our program.
If you are interested in being a part of the LMA as a student/mentee or mentor, please send us your contact information by clicking here.
2013-2014 LMA Results
During the school year, members and mentors spent 1646 hours interacting with our 46 mentees and other youth in the North Omaha community. The graduating class of 2014 included six seniors with an average GPA of 2.8. All six of the graduating seniors are planning to enroll in post-secondary institutions. Although all matched graduating mentees were formally closed, we continue to provide mentoring across a lifetime. Since 2008, we have experienced a 100% graduation rate with 93% of our graduates pursuing post-secondary education or training opportunities. This speaks volumes to the success of our mentoring program.
The following parental testimonies speak to these results:
“My son’s first introduction to the 100 Black Men, was back in 2009-10 when he participated in the 100 Saturday Academy program. He enjoyed the activities and meeting other boys his age. We later relocated out of town, but upon returning to Omaha I wanted him in the program again. He was a 7th grader and was too old for the 100 Saturday Academy program and too young for the LMA. His mentor, Rick thought that he would be a great addition to the LMA and after completing the application, Cayden was accepted as a junior high student. He has thoroughly enjoyed the programming, activities, and meeting with his mentor. The 100BMO has also provided guidance and opportunities for Cayden to take part in other mentoring activities and programs they offer. I am proud to have an honor roll student, who truly enjoys school and learning. I believe the LMA program provides Cayden with additional outlets to explore and learn as he matures into a young man. Thanks for the opportunities.” Monique C.
“My son Zion has had some storms, the 100 Black Men has provided him a mentor who has supported him through that journey. Zion is at the age where he is figuring out who he is; having him around other positive youth and men helps him want to better himself. The learning presentations given to the youth on finance, resume writing, and various other subjects teach him and challenge him to grow. His mentor and the organization as a whole have been a great moral support to our family. Joining the 100 Black Men was a great decision as I have seen him grow since he has been in the program and have no doubt that he will continue to grow.” Angelica T.