The office of Concerned Black Men on 1305 Franklin Street in Oakland was packed with community leaders, students and parents for the CBM Cares Mentoring Program launch party on Tuesday. CBM recently partnered with Montera Middle School to provide mentor support to 100 African American boys.
The mentoring program takes students to monthly enrichment activities designed to expose them to opportunities in and outside their communities, including trips to museums, Angel Island and San Francisco. Mentors are required to attend the initial orientation and training after submitting an application. The mentors also participate in weekly trainings at least twice a month.
The guest speaker Deputy Mayor Sandre Swanson told the audience he remembered being part of the mentoring program with the Boys and Girls Club growing up and how much it impacted his life.
“CBM Cares Mentoring program is giving young people the support they need to get ahead and interacting with a mentor is critical to that process,” said Sandre Swanson. “We as a community have to believe the status quo is unacceptable.”
Each young man in the program was presented with a certificate of appreciation by Swanson and Saleem Shakir, a founding member of the Oakland chapter of Concerned Black Men.
Concerned Black Men is a national program, originally founded in 1975 by Philadelphia police officers who sponsored social events for kids at risk to gang violence and wanted to promote positive Black male role models by providing mentors and programs for academic and career enrichment.
The program also has a parent support system, designed to support students’ academic achievement and address parenting skill challenges during the year.
The Oakland Chapter of CBM is looking for more mentors and hopes to have more than 100 volunteers by the end of this year.
For more information on how to get involved, visit www.cbm-oakland.org/ or call (510) 508-4456.