Improve Your Tomorrow

Monthly Newsletter

Spring 2023 Issue

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IYT's 8th Annual Graduation Ceremony

Graduation is right around the corner and this year, IYT is celebrating its biggest class of scholars yet, over 800 Brothers! Here are a few photos of some of their college graduates

What memories come to mind when you think of your midde school, high school, or college graduation? Whatever comes to mind, you have the opportunity today to help more young men of color make it to graduation day and into purposeful careers by supporting us during Big Day of Giving.

Pledge your gift below and join the hundreds of other community members that choose to give during Big Day of Giving.

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New IYT Peer-Tutoring Pilot Program

Finishes Initial Trail Run 

A ten-week peer-tutoring pilot program providing free tutoring and scholarships to IYT members concluded with packed houses of parents attending the closing ceremonies at both Florin and Natomas High Schools. 

The program brought together high school students who wanted to help their peers and IYT Members who wanted to work with fellow students to improve their grades.  “I've shown great improvement thanks to this program,” said student Gabriel Rangel. “Learning was made fun. It gave me a place to not only get help for my work but a safe environment for expressing myself academically,” he added. While initial results were promising, (the 35 students who received free tutoring saw a 27% rise in test scores and an 18% average grade increase) more analysis and a longer intervention window are needed to prove the model works. That being said, the benefits of taking part in the program are already paying off; members as well as the peer tutors who took part in the program were able to earn up to $250 in scholarships per academic quarter.

The program was led by Diego Leibman Galvez, a junior at Stanford University who designed it with advice from Stanford’s Dr. Deborah Stipek, a world-renowned child development expert. “I was inspired by my childhood working at farmers markets to save for school and Governor Newsom’s College Corps, an innovative paid service program,” said Leibman Galvez. “The scholarships for service model we’ve championed empowers all students to volunteer, regardless of their background,” he added.

“The program helped me become more of a leader," said Xavier Brewer, a peer tutor and IYT member of three years, "The 529 lets me put my money in savings and helps with tuition,” he added. 88% of Fellows are low-income, and the $15 per hour they earn, deposited in tax-advantaged 529 college savings accounts, make Fellows like Brewer four times likelier to graduate college. “They say it takes a village to raise a child and I fully believe that,” said Kimberly Gil, whose son Amir more than doubled his English grade since receiving tutoring. The program is set to end at the conclusion of the 2022-2023 school year and will then undergo a rigorous review and evaluation before a decision is made on including it as part of the host of other services IYT’s College Academy provides to almost 4,000 young men of color. 

SMUD Takes IYT Brothers on Museum Trip

We'd like to extend a big thank you to SMUD for taking our brothers on an exclusive trip to the Museum of Science and Curiosity this past weekend. IYT members from San Juan, Twin Rivers, and Washington Unified were able to attend the Sacramento Museum and participate in activities that promoted curiosity in energy, sustainability, and nature. Activities included a wind turbine activity to measure wattage output, creating wind sail cars, an interactive sustainability wall, and ending the day at the space observatory. Reflecting on the trip, IYT Bro. Jaden from Rio Terra said,

"The SMUD Field Trip this Saturday was fun. I enjoyed the activities we did during the trip and the planetarium show at the end. It was cool seeing the whole universe inside of a room."

Congressmen Ami Bera Meets with

Brothers at IYT HQ

We were honored to host Congressman Ami Bera (D-CA 6th District) and his Field Representative, Philip Norton, for an info session on our programs and vision for closing the college achievement gap for young men of color. Reflecting on the time spent with our brothers Bera stated, "It was a pleasure visiting Improve Your Tomorrow to learn about their successful programs from former and current brothers of the program...[IYT] is making an incredible difference in the Sacramento region by increasing the number of young men of color who attend and graduate from college, and I look forward to seeing the great work these students are able to accomplish in the future."

IYT's Youth-led "Brotherhood Action Committee" Visits State Capitol

IYT’s Member-led advocacy program, The Brotherhood Action Committee (BAC), participated in their first Lobby Day at the State Capitol to advocate in partnership with the statewide coalition for Alliance of Boys & Men of Color (ABMOC). Remarking on the importance of youth voices ABMOC Executive Director, Eric Morrison Smith, said “Youth have led the way from civil rights to the largest protest in American history in 2020. Youth organized the Montgomery Bus Boycotts and Freedom Rides that helped dismantle Jim Crow and, now, are leading some of the most dynamic movements across racial, class, and gender lines.” 

BAC members advocated for Senator Skinner's bill, SB 274 (2023), which puts an end to willful defiance suspensions in high schools. which is a huge step in removing racially discriminatory practices from schools. Willful defiance is a broadly defined term that is often used to discipline students for any form of disobedience, such as talking back or not taking off a hat. Unfortunately, this form of discipline is used disproportionately on black and brown students and greatly accelerates the school-to-prison pipeline– especially for Black and Hispanic boys. 

The BAC members attended meetings with Assemblymember Corey Jackson and Senator Josh Becker’s staff, sharing stoires about their experiences with unfair school suspensions and the importance of supporting SB 274. BAC members also conducted several literature drop-offs at other legislative offices. This was also the first time that the BAC advocated for policies in support of The 1300 Campaign seeks, which seeks to permanently increase college attainment for young men of color through education policy reform. One of the 1300 Campaign's policy priorities is a moratorium on school suspensions, which is in line with ending defiance suspensions in SB 274.

The BAC's work is a testament to the power of youth voices and their ability to create change by advocating for policies that promote equity and justice in our society. We’re greatful to our brothers at ABMOC and Executive Director, Eric Morrison, for including us in this opportunity to build momentum. 

ICYMI: Winter Recap

The Central Valley team celebrated Cesar Chavez's Day of Service by creating new paths and re-planting onions at the Children’s Garden in Modesto. The garden's creators, Jessica Coleman and Miss Jess started the garden a few years ago as a place for youth to learn about food systems and pick their own food and flowers and feel like part of a community. Our program teams are planning to incorporate a visit to the garden as part of our recurring "brotherhood activities".

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Program Director - College Academy

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Community Resource Counselor

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Thanks to our extensive partner network, were able to offer our members a wide array of scholarship and career opportunities. We also offer these to all of our newsletter subscribers. Feel free to visit the page below and share these opportunities with the young people in your life.

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