The has announced new commitments totaling more than $100 million in support of , an initiative launched in February to expand opportunity and improve life outcomes for boys and young men of color.
The latest commitments to the public-private partnership include $50 million from the , founded by Laurene Powell Jobs, to connect Silicon Valley innovators with school districts working to redesign high schools to meet the needs of the new economy and develop educational models that increase engagement and success among underserved students. In addition, the and the announced a five-year partnership with , Team Turnaround, and the in support of efforts to reduce dropout rates, improve the worst-performing schools, and recruit high-quality mentors; pledged $18 million — as part of a broader $350 million commitment to improve high school success and workforce readiness for at-risk students — to launch the Aspire Mentoring Academy Corps, expand online mentoring, develop a mentoring app, and pilot a STEM mentoring program; the and the Department of Justice's announced a three-year, $10 million commitment to create a Youth Opportunity AmeriCorps; and the and announced a $3.8 million commitment to connect youth with service opportunities restoring the nation's forests and grasslands.
Other pledges include $10 million over three years from to create ServiceWorks, which will deploy AmeriCorps members to help prepare twenty-five thousand students in ten cities across the country for college and careers in a global economy; $10 million from the and Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel and to fund the expansion and an evaluation of the and Match tutoring programs; $1.5 million from the for "All In," a national outreach effort designed to ensure that all African-American, Latino, and Native American students with strong AP potential enroll in at least one AP class before graduation; and $1 million from to create special programming designed to counter negative stereotypes about boys and young men of color.
Leaders of sixty of the largest school districts in the country also pledged to better support boys and young men of color based on an eleven-point plan that includes expanding access to high-quality preschool, implementing or scaling early warning systems to prevent grade retention, establishing programs to reduce suspensions and expulsions, increasing access to advanced and rigorous coursework, and ensuring that students complete federal financial aid applications.
While a handful of districts have already made progress in helping African-American and Latino boys improve their academic performance, "we need to move these numbers and improve these futures as a collective if the nation as a whole is to make any progress on this front," Michael Casserly, executive director of the Council of the Great City Schools, told . "It's not enough for us to do well in a small number of cities."