New York State My Brother's Keeper: Changing the Narrative

March 2023

Anael Alston

Dear Colleagues, Partners, and Friends,

We continue to engage, support, and encourage you, our constituents, to meet the needs of our young people across the state. Thank you for all that you are doing. 


Over the last few months, the NYSMBK Fellows and their mentors have been working on their professional speaking, civic engagement, and personal growth. They have also been involved in our Mastermind book studies. Their talents, skills, insights, and ideas were on full display at our Stand and Deliver Workshop and the New York State Association of Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic, and Asian Legislators' (NYSABPRHAL) Youth Summit and Legislative Conference. We will have some of those speeches posted on our website as soon as possible. 

Also, we are accepting applications for the 2023 Vice Chancellor Emerita Adelaide L. Sanford Scholarship. The scholarship will be awarded to one MBK Fellow and one female graduating senior from a New York State Education Department-recognized My Brother's Keeper Community. Scholarships awarded are limited to cover tuition, fees, and books, and range between $500 and $2,000 annually over four years of college enrollment. For more details and to download the application, visit the scholarship page on our website.

Finally, the 2023 MBK Symposium will take place on May 19, 2023, at the Empire State Plaza, Albany. MBK communities and grant-funded programs won't want to miss this exciting event. Registration is now open. Please speak to your MBK Project Director for registration information. 

Registration will close on April 19th. 


While the Symposium event registration is available for our grant-funded programs, our 33 MBK communities, and their community partners, we will stream the event live on our website. If you are unable to attend in person, I hope you take the opportunity to participate via webcast and hear from MBK students and programs across New York State as they share their success stories, challenges, and strategies.


Your Partner in Education,


Dr. Anael Alston 

Assistant Commissioner 

Teacher Opportunity Corps II Summit

On Friday, March 31, 2023, from 8:30am-4:00pm, NYSED will host the 2023 New York State My Brother's Keeper Teacher Opportunity Corps II (TOC II) Summit at the Cultural Education Center in Albany. Approximately 100 guests are expected. 


As in prior years, the TOC II 2023 Summit will deliver distinguished speakers and informative workshops. We are excited to feature Dr. Sonya Douglass, Professor of Education Leadership at Teachers College, Founding Director of the Black Education Research Collective, and Co-Director of the Urban Education Leaders Program as the keynote speaker. Dr. Anael Alston, NYSED Assistant Commissioner, will give a presentation on Paradigms and Student Behaviors. Celebrated author, Rev. Dr. Alfonso Wyatt, is on the agenda as well.

My History, My Future: Amplifying Student Voices

This February, NYSED and The Education Trust-New York teamed up again to elevate student voices in honor of Black History Month for the sixth year of the #MyHistoryMyFuture social media campaign. Each year, the campaign highlights the New York State MBK initiative and features inspiring quotes from outstanding students who shared how MBK has positively changed their lives and their hopes and dreams for the future.

All the student quotes from this year’s campaign can be found on our NYSMBK Twitter account.

New York State My Brother's Keeper Fellows Program

The purpose of the MBK Fellows Grant is to provide rising 12th grade high school students, with an emphasis on boys and young men of color, with opportunities to gain authentic leadership experience(s) and develop service projects beneficial to the schools they attend and the communities they live in.

NYS MBK Fellows Stand and Deliver

Our exceptional NYS MBK Fellows confidently delivered presentations telling their MBK stories at the “Stand and Deliver” leadership workshop in February. New York State Board of Regents Chancellor Lester W. Young, Jr. and Rev. Dr. Alfonso Wyatt and MBK mentors also addressed the Fellows at the event.

Chancellor Young speaks at Stand and Deliver 2023

Board of Regents Chancellor Lester W. Young, Jr.

Rev. Dr. Alfonso Wyatt speaks at Stand and Deliver 2023

Rev. Dr. Alfonso Wyatt

Stand and Deliver

New York State My Brother's Keeper Community Network

The New York State My Brother's Keeper Community Network includes more than 30 member communities that have joined the growing initiative to improve outcomes for boys and young men of color. To join the NYS MBK Community Network, the school superintendent and local government official must sign a joint letter to the Commissioner of Education indicating their support of and commitment to meeting the six MBK National Milestones and the six New York State MBK Goals. Detailed instructions for becoming a New York State MBK Community can be found here. Upon becoming a member of the statewide network, a community gains the support of NYSED's Office of Access, Equity, and Community Engagement Services to help build a community initiative and develop a local MBK action plan.

The Basics Elmont

The Elmont Union Free School District is proud to announce that it has launched The Basics Elmont, a new initiative for children from birth to age 5. Founded by Dr. Ron Ferguson, The Basics aims to bolster brain development for social, emotional, and cognitive skill building as a foundation for school readiness.

The Basics Elmont initiative was officially launched in November 2022 with a luncheon attended by community stakeholders. Dr. Anael Alston, NYSED's Assistant Commissioner of the Office of Access, Equity, and Community Engagement Services, was a guest speaker at the event.

Dr. Ron Ferguson and Dr. Anael Alston

Dr. Ron Ferguson and Dr. Anael Alston

Family and Community Engagement Program (FCEP)

The purpose of the FCEP is to increase the academic achievement and college and career readiness of boys and young men of color by developing and sustaining effective relationships with families that engender trust, confidence, and respect in order to achieve student success.

Middletown High School Relaunches My Brother’s Keeper Program

Middletown High School hosted an event in December to relaunch its My Brother’s Keeper program. Roughly 100 people attended the event, held in the high school’s library media center, including NYS Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther and Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler. 

MHS scholar Jasmine Bell sang “The Star-Spangled Banner,” as well as “Lift Every Voice and Sing." Coordinator Phil Stewart introduced advisory board and community members Mitchell Williams, Freddie Williams, Pastor John Williams, Chief John Ewanciw, Edwin Estrada, and Seneca King. 

NYSED Assistant Commissioner Dr. Anael Alston presented about college admissions and financial aid. Rev. Dr. Alfonso Wyatt, author of the book, Madd Truth, engaged the audience and MBK scholars with thought-provoking questions and topics.

MHS scholars Howard Johnson, Ziyade Ndancky, Prabsharan Singh, Keymill Gill, Dwayne Leach, Michael Culver, and Brandon Spencer served as panelists.

Participants at Middletown MBK relaunch event

Learn More

Find out more about New York State's My Brother's Keeper initiative by visiting our MBK website.

Join the Conversation

If your school or community would like to share a story to include in a future edition of this newsletter, please email photos and news items to

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