African American young men from the San Francisco Bay Area who are graduating from high school and going to college will be honored June 3 at a ceremony celebrating their achievements.
The event is part of the Mitchell Kapor Foundation’s College Bound Brotherhood, a college readiness program designed to increase the number of young black men in the area who are prepared for college.
Youth participating in the event will be eligible for a $100 stipend to defray the cost of college books.
“African American young men are assets that we can’t afford to lose, and when they earn college degrees, the economic and social benefits impact all of us,” said Cedric Brown, CEO of the Kapor Foundation.
Across the nation, African American young men are graduating from high school at alarmingly low rates, and even fewer are ready for a college education. In 2009, for every 100 graduating Bay Area seniors, only four were African American males, and only one African American male was eligible to attend a California State or University of California institution.
Since the launch of the College Bound Brotherhood in 2008, the Kapor Foundation has distributed more than $1 million in grants to organizations that support young Black men through college readiness workshops, college tours, academic coaching, mentoring and much more.
“Black males are underemployed, undereducated and undervalued,” said Monique August, executive director of the Choose College Educational Foundation, a Kapor Foundation grant partner.
“By investing in these youth, we are not only uplifting the lives of the young males, but enhancing the livelihood of our entire society,” she said. “The graduation celebration combats stereotypes and statistics of black male achievement and is a catalyst of hope and pride in our communities.”