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IYT's Monthly Newsletter

Thursday, May 5th

Letter from Michael Lynch

Welcome to our monthly newsletter!

We’ve got a lot to share with you, from celebrating a growing list of college acceptance letters addressed to our young men (120+ so far), to receiving state and federal attention upon launching the Northern Central Valley chapter of our policy coalition, The 1300 Campaign. 

The month of May not only marks one of our biggest events of the year, the Brotherhood Conference, but also, Sacramento’s largest community-wide fundraiser, Big Day of Giving. As we prepare for the largest IYT graduating class in our 9-year history, we know that many of our young men are becoming the first in their families to graduate high school, attend colleges, and pursue their dreams. But being an IYT Brother also means recognizing the path our brotherhood is making for the next generation, and while our organization and our allies fight to make the path more equitable, it’s our mentors that are at the core of what makes IYT impactful. So, whether it’s next fall or in 4 years, we know that many of our graduates will turn around and serve as mentors, helping the next generation of IYT brothers navigate challenges inside and outside of school and get to and through college. This cycle of service tends to have a feedback loop for the communities we serve, whereby the care and dedication we provide to our members often translates into them feeling empowered to help others make the same transformation they did. 

When you support IYT, you’re investing in a cycle of service that is closing the college achievement gap and empowering generations of young men of color who are growing up to be lawyers, counselors, educators, and leaders in their communities.

Thank you for being a part of the IYT family. Your engagement and trust enable us to respond to and meet the evolving needs of our young men of color and provide life changing programs. 


With gratitude and in partnership, 

Michael Lynch, 

CEO and Co-Founder

Upcoming Events

These events are made available to our communities with vital support from and in partnership with The Center at Sierra Health Foundation and the City of Sacramento. 

Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

May 13th

Join IYT brothers and program staff in Sacramento  for trip to see Marvels latest film! 

Event Registration

3 vs. 3 Basketball Tournament

 May 27th

Join IYT brothers and program staff for a friendly game of 3v3 basketball!

Event Registration

Big Day of Giving – Thursday, May 5th (TODAY)

Big Day of Giving (BDOG) calls on the whole community to come together and support the causes and organizations they care about. This year, we are raising funds for some of our biggest needs: MENTORSHIP, COLLEGE TRIPS,  WELLNESS, and CRISIS GRANTS. 


You can visit our BDOG page here and pledge your support:


Every gift strengthens our mentoring programs, enhances our wellness initiatives, and helps give our members their first opportunity to step foot on a college campus and meet scholars of color with similar backgrounds. 

IYT's 6th Annual Brotherhood Conference,

May 7th

We are humbled and honored to be able to announce that this year’s Brotherhood Conference will be held at Golden 1 Center, thanks to the incredible generosity of Golden 1 Credit Union and our committed IYT Ally Supporters. 

About the title: 

Working with brothers, mentors, and our programs team, we developed a theme that acknowledges the resilience, knowledge, and wisdom of our brothers and encourages the power of personal reflection and storytelling. The "root" of history is about knowing yourself, your past and present, and letting that empower our brothers to be authors of their future. 

The 6th annual Brotherhood conference will celebrate the power of storytelling and how it can be an important tool to examine, discover, and build a stronger, healthier, and more compassionate self.

ICYMI: April Recap

IYT Celebrates College Decision Day

College Decision Day is the final day for students to submit their interest to enroll in the college of their choice. For our brothers, it can be a difficult decision to decide as many components need to be considered such as financial aid, location, community, and culture. 

Every College Decision Day, we congratulate our college-bound brothers statewide and highlight where our brotherhood will be going in the fall. We are so proud of our Class of 2022 and excited to see their accomplishments in the future. Take a look at where our brothers are going and how we cheer our members on. 

IYT Solidifies New CalFresh Partnership

IYT's Community Resource Counselor, Francisco Valverde, has established a critical partnership with CalFresh through Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services. This partnership will help to fight food insecurity within our organization and ensure that anyone who needs healthy and nutritious food has access. The CalFresh Program, federally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), issues monthly electronic benefits that can be used to buy most foods at many markets and food stores. Members of IYT's wellness, research and strategic partnerships teams also volunteer at the Food Bank each month to strengthen our partnership and prioritize service to the Sacramento community. 

IYT Takes 15 YMOC on East Coast HBCU Trip

As part of the brotherhood experience, each brother visits at least two California colleges and Universities per year. This year, the Arata Brothers Trust, Closing the Gap, and the SMUD foundation made IYT history by sending 15 of our brothers from Sacramento and San Juaquin to attend our first Historically Black College and University (HBCU) tour!!! Brothers visited North Carolina Central University, Norfolk State University, Howard University, Virginia State University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, and North Carolina A&T.

On April 10th at 4:30am (YIKES!) IYT brothers and program staff departed from Sacramento International Airport for the college experience of a lifetime. All 15 young men stated they were joining this trip so that they could explore colleges filled with people that look like them. They wanted to experience the culture, travel, and witness a healthy Greek life. These universities did not disappoint. The Howard University Dean of the School of Education spent an hour with our young men helping them to visualize themselves on campus, and The Vice President of Student life at Eastern Shore provided a direct line to our Brothers. 

Our members were all smiles the whole trip! Highlights include Jamaican food during Howard’s cultural food experience which occurs every Thursday. Perhaps just as important as exploring HBCU’s, our young men were able to be on their own, leaving behind their parents for a week. They represented IYT, our sponsors, and their families with honor and grace. Aftertward, we were speechless to hear the news that one of our brothers that attended the trip, Alfred McDonald, received and accepted an offer to attend Howard University after engaging with the football coaches through Instagram while touring the school. This experience changed 15 lives forever.

Popcorn Fundraiser Recap – S/O to our Champions

Our popcorn fundraiser went off with a POP!! Supporters in 85 cities and 15 states supported IYT brothers across 31 schools in the Sacramento, Humboldt, and Northern Central Valley Region! We hope you enjoyed the Double Good Popcorn, I know we did! Special shout out to these popcorn champions for raising the most funds per site and ensuring that all our brothers were enthusiastically engaged. 

Program Managers: 

Hanna Yeoman

Rudy Rises

Jordan Bell 

Parent Champion: Ingrid Rice

Special Announcements

IYT U Mentor at Sac State, Itzaes Flores, Accepts offer from Columbia Law School 

We were thrilled to learn that our Sac State mentor, Itzaes Flores was accepted to Columbia Law School. Itzae embodies our vision of how the mentor fellowship experience can be just as transformational to the mentor as the mentee, and helps to inspire social change leaders. 

Reflecting on the opportunity in front of him, Itzaes remains clear and focused on what he wants out of it and how he got this far. Check out our short interview with him below: 

What made you want to pursue law school (and Columbia specifically) and what challenges did you overcome to get to this point? 

 “Pursuing a law degree presents the opportunity to meaningfully serve some of the most marginalized people in our society. I aspire to use my law degree to fight for those whose voices have been diminished, distorted, and silenced by the legal system. In addition to this, Latinos only comprise 5% of the legal profession. This underrepresentation also motivates me to pursue a law degree. As an aspiring first-generation professional student, it was difficult to access resources and funds to help me navigate the law school application process. I was unaware of how expensive and intense this process is. I often found myself doubting whether I truly belonged in this space. Fortunately, I was selected to participate in a pre-law fellowship that helped me overcome these challenges. Columbia’s diverse student body, strong sense of community, and commitment to public service draws me to attend. Columbia offers a top legal education in an amazing city. New York City provides endless opportunities to engage with the greater community for professional development, pro bono work, and volunteering.” 

What made you want to be an IYT mentor and in what ways do you see yourself continuing to seek and give mentorship?

“Often, men of color do not have family or friends to help them navigate through the education system. In addition to this teachers and faculty tend to not look like our students. As a man of color, I understand the importance of representation in education which encouraged me to become a mentor. As a mentor, my goal is to inspire my guys to believe that they not only belong in these spaces but can thrive in them. My objective is to show them the importance of an education and the doors it can open when taken seriously. I would not be in this position today if I did not have mentors who provided support and guidance. I believe the only way to truly express my gratitude is to pay it forward to the next generation. I hope to lift as I climb and show that if I can accomplish this, then anyone can. I hope I can help break down systemic barriers and inspire other underrepresented students to pursue their goals and aspirations.”

We're Hiring

Director of Development - Central Valley

 Stockton, CA

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Director of Development - Bay Area, 

Pittsburg, CA 

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BAC Coordinator,

Sacramento, CA

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Capitol Corner

1300 Campaign Expands to Northern Central Valley – Sharpens focus on systemic change.

We are pleased to announce that on Friday, April, 22nd, our Policy & Advocacy team, in partnership with UC Merced and CSU Stanislaus, officially launched the Northern Central Valley (NCV) 1300 Campaign. The event was held at UC Merced and attended by dozens of regional leaders consisting of county superintendents, K-12 district superintendents, elected officials, community foundations, and community-based organizations. 

To commemorate the launch of the 1300 Campaign, eight keynote speakers noted to the importance of the initiative and affirmed their and their institution’s commitment to send 1300 additional Young Men of Color to UC Merced and CSU Stanislaus by 2026 and address the harmful policies and practices that have historically limited the educational opportunities and outcomes for YMOC. Additionally, all speakers in attendance signed a pledge committing to the 1300 Campaign.

Keynote speakers consisted of: 

  • UC Merced Chancellor Juan Munoz
  • CSU Stanislaus President Ellen Junn
  • IYT Co-Founder & CEO Michael Lynch
  • California State Superintendent Tony Thurmond
  • US Under Secretary of Education James Kvaal
  • Assemblymember Adam Gray
  • San Joaquin County Superintendent of School Troy Brown
  • Merced City Schools Superintendent Sara Noguchi

Now, through the Campaign’s 9-point-plan, the 1300 Campaign will advance its efforts by working with K-12 institutions in the region to establish culturally responsive pathways to college, bridge the opportunity and achievement gap, and interrupt harmful narratives and practices.

“We know through the 1300 Campaign, we have the ability to help transform lives, bridge the opportunity gap, and help young men of color fulfill their promise and full potential,” said 1300 Campaign co-chair and CSU Stanislaus President Ellen Junn. “It does take a village to get all these key pieces aligned so the pathway for students is equitable, inclusive, and designed to foster successful outcomes. We can make that happen.”  

Check out the media coverage of NCV Launch below!

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