Event Puts the Crowning Touch on the Sons & Brothers Campaign Launch
ednesday, October 9, 2013 will forever live in infamy in the hearts and minds of 15 youth and young adults who were anointed “King for a Day”. Their life changing experience started at Manual Arts High School where they participated in The California Endowment Sons & Brothers Campaign launch and Student Recovery Day effort and ended bidding farewell to Double Platinum recording artist “The Game”, with whom the young people had spent the evening in a luxurious suite watching the Los Angeles Kings defeat the Ottawa Senators. “I really enjoyed speaking with my fellow students and inviting them to come back to school”, said Shaquan Woods, a youth who himself just a few months earlier decided to return to and finish school as a result of joining the Brotherhood Crusade BLOOM program and YouthSource Center. “I feel I have a lot to share with these students because I am one of them and I am going through the same experiences.” Shaquan was not alone in this assessment. Many of the youth enrolled in the Brotherhood Crusade YouthSource Center and/or BLOOM program, who arrived at Manual Arts High School early Wednesday morning for a 9:00 AM student recovery training and 10:00 AM outreach effort, expressed similar sentiments.
“The students kept asking me why I had this uncontrollable, never ceasing smile on my face”, said one Brotherhood Crusade mentor. “The truth is that I was overwhelmed seeing young people who themselves were disengaged from school less than six months prior, passionately and sincerely encouraging their peers to return to school and sharing the message ‘we love you, we need you and we deeply care about you.’” Significantly, The California Endowment, California's largest healthcare foundation, announced a $50-million initiative to support minority boys and young men. Given the staggering odds against these young men succeeding in school and in future careers, the Endowment’s seven-year project aims to boost attendance 30% in targeted schools, reduce by half the number of those suspended, train campus police on the effect of trauma on students, establish conflict-resolution programs in 10 communities, develop 1,000 youth leaders and make sure all eligible children have health coverage.