Mentors are so important in the lives of our youth as Milwaukee Public Schools sees it, and when young people see examples of what they can become they're more likely to take school seriously.
Organizers of the Black and Latino Male Achievement Program say that this will have a profound impact on MPS students. Thursday’s discussion was all about self-esteem and identity.
"It takes a village." Mentor Victor Amaya said. "It's really rewarding to come back."
Amaya is an MPS alum and believes conversations between mentors and students will save lives and help young men rise above.
The initiative was launched last month. The program is starting at Bradley Tech and Washington High Schools guiding student's like Prince Mays to make sure he graduates from school on time.
"It's fun though, I like coming to it," said Mays.
Meeting for only the second time this fall the initiative is still in its early stages but it's a start to change the narrative and fight against negative stereotypes.
"I think for our young men it's really about seeing folks that look like them, that have traveled that path that have had that success. Really see that they can also be successful and they can be successful at whatever it is they choose to do," said Juan Baez, one of the initiative’s directors. "I think Black and Latino male achievement is a movement here in Milwaukee."
The program will continue to meet on the first Thursday of every month. They will look to expand when 2018 comes.