The Brooklyn division of the National CARES Mentoring Movement, a mentoring organization founded by Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of Essence Magazine Susan L. Taylor, has gotten new digs. Their Brooklyn office will now be housed in the office of City Councilman Robert E. Cornegy, Jr. in Bedford-Stuyvesant where mentors will be recruited and trained to offer emotional, social and academic support to area youth.
Studies show that mentoring makes a difference in a young person’s outcome– when youth are engaged in mentorship programs, they are less likely to participate in risk-taking behaviors. The National Cares Mentoring Movement was created in 2005 by Taylor with the goal of ensuring the young people in impoverished communities are surrounded and influenced by caring adults that can show a pathway out of poverty.
Taylor, Cornegy and Tammy Samms, chair of the Brooklyn CARES Mentoring Movement, along with a handful of BCM board members and volunteers were at the council member’s office Wednesday morning to announce the new partnership.
Cornegy volunteered to share some of his office space with BCMM after hearing Taylor speak at a gang violence prevention event last year, sponsored by the King’s County D.A.’s office.
“At the end of that event, he just walked up to us and handed us his card, and said, ‘I got you,'” said Tammy Samms of Cornegy. “And so now we have space. Today is the fruition of that, and I am so grateful for [his] generosity.”
Cornegy said that to be able to offer a mentoring program out of his office– the first district office in the city to do so– is a feather in the cap of the 36th District. His office was also the first in the State of New York to open a lactation center, and the first city council office in Brooklyn to host weekly walk-up services where residents can file complaints with a licensed CCRB worker.
“So we can go back and forth on the thank you’s, because I’m just as honored to have you here,” said Cornegy to Samms.
Cornegy said he hopes the BCMM space will provide collaborative support for area mentors to tackle the issues plaguing many of the youth in his district, including gang violence, truancy and teen parenting.
“Imagine the United States as no longer having the world’s highest rate of incarceration but being the world’s leading producer of educators, doctors, engineers, entrepreneurs and a dynamic 21st Century workforce,” said Taylor. “Imagine the impact on the nation’s economy if instead of sinking dollars into prisons, we invested in creating an ever-growing army of young people able to compete in the global-knowledge and innovation economy… and for a fraction of the cost!”
Brooklyn CARES will hold an information session for interested mentors and volunteers on Thursday, June 18, from 6:30pm – 7:30pm at its new office space at Restoration Plaza, located at 1360 Fulton Street, Ste. 500, or email [email protected].