YOUNG MENS SUCCESS SERIES | City of Ideas
Issue to be Addressed:
The increasing challenges that impact brown and black male youth have led to alarming high school drop-out rates, staggering rates of homicides and non-fatal injuries and epidemic rates of incarceration. Current environmental and cultural factors within the Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan areas, especially in the Boston Public School (BPS) system inherently neglect personal, social and emotional factors that contribute to academic achievement and success, particularly among brown and black male youth ages 9 through 15. The ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds of male students of color have created an invisible divide between male youth and adults. The observations and expectations that are held toward black and brown male youth ages 9 through 15 have affected their performance within schools and outside school environment.
In turn it causes these youths to stand out in the most negative and alarming ways, both in school and the larger society, by not participating in positive behaviors.
The Young Men's' Success Series is a comprehensive set of holistic workshops designed to provide each male participant with the skills to be thriving in all avenues of their lives. During its pilot in 2009, YMSS provided an educational summit for more than 50 male youth of color, parents, teachers and the general community, which proved valuable, statistically successful, and needed.
YMSS would like to provide a year-round workshop program for male youth ages 9 to 15 particularly in the areas of professional development, social development, academic readiness, financial literacy, cultural awareness and health & fitness. YMSS's successful innovative methods of using collaboration, mentorship, technology, and mathematics to introduce tools to success to young brown and black male youth has led to improved overall behavior particularly among youth ages 9 through 15 that have participated in at least 4 workshops.
YMSS plans to continue and expand its year round workshop program to provide more focused workshops and additional supervised mentor activities for youth ages 9 through 15 and will be expanded to include older youth ages 16 through 20 and their families. More than 50 percent of program participants have been of minority ethnic background, predominately African-American; it is anticipated that this involvement with the ethnic community will continue at the same or greater level.
Role of Collaboration:
Since its inception as a pilot project in 2009, YMSS has enjoyed great inter-institutional and interdisciplinary collaboration. YMSS consists of individuals and organizations from multiple sectors throughout the Great Boston area from Boston Police Department, Raytheon, NSBE, PressPass TV and countless others. Educators, physicians, scientist, social workers, business managers, managed-care providers, and family members of brown and black male youth are included in YMSS membership.
Among its strongest and most consistent collaborators have been: 1)Boston Mental Health Association, which has supplied YMSS with mental-health professional expertise to develop six point curriculum, fiscal sponsorship, and clerical support; 2) Boston Police Department (Dudley), which has supplied YMSS CPAN with physical space to run its programs two Saturdays a month; 3)Press Pass TV which has provided an introduction to media arts workshops for male youth participating in YMSS living in underserved neighborhoods such as Dorchester, Roxbury and Mattapan. 4) Boston Public Schools, which has partnered with YMSS to educate City Public School personnel — principals, educators, parents and students about dynamic workshop available year round to male youth in the Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan areas— to learn the skills to be successful young men in today’s society through achievement as students, accomplishments in the community and mentorship from other men that have walked the path to triumph.
One of the newest possibilities for partnership is City Year Boston; which unites young people of all backgrounds for a year of full-time service, giving them the skills and opportunities to change the world. They would participate as tutors, mentors and role models to male youth of color providing the additional support to stay in school and on track, and transform schools and our target communities of Dorchester, Roxbury and Mattapan. (This partnership is still under development)
As YMSS seeks to expand its program new potential partners have been identified to improve current workshop content for male youth of color (brown and black) ages 9-15 with a special focus on providing 21st century skills with a holistic approach. Among those that have expressed an interest in participation are: City Year, Massachusetts Black Mental Health Association, Press Pass TV, Raytheon and several Boston Public Schools. Currently, the success of YMSS has led to growth of the program from 10 participants in December 2012 to over 30 participants in December 2012. With over 15 professional mentors participating in attendance, workshops, panelist and speakers each Saturday YMSS network has more than doubled which requires more capacity.
Funding would allow for YMSS to improve its capacity by hiring one part-time programming staff, development consultant, and additional program material such as but not limited to printed handbooks and media equipment for continual success.
Percy Hayles is the inspiring voice for young men to become more effective leaders and communicators through his commitment to his young lions in the communities of Dorchester, Mattapan and Roxbury.
For over twenty years Percy has worked within the Boston Public Schools (BPS), local-area colleges and has served as the Executive Director at STRIVE focusing on issues: chronic unemployment, empowerment and education in the Greater Boston area. With persistence and hard work, Percy has motivated, educated, and touched the lives of young men from all walks of life.
In 2009, Percy strived to improve the dire situation for male youth ages 7-21 by founding the Young Mens Success Series (YMSS). Now Percy spends two Saturdays a month teaching, training, a group of young men about the six major points to being a successful man in today’s society.
He pushes young men to look at their path to college “I attended undergraduate and graduate school at the University of Akron receiving a Master Degree in History and you can too.”
Percy’s passion has motivated others professionals to step forward to speak and lead young men to success.
His key to leading is telling other men about the urgency and benefits of getting involved with male youth in the area and the power it has to change the future. His ultimate goal is to add value to young men’s lives by impacting mindsets, instilling hope, and influencing their communities.
Originally from Bulgaria, Ms. Marinova is an award-winning media producer and human rights advocate. She has taught
extensively on the use of media arts in creating a fair and just society and serves as Co-Director of the media nonprofit Press Pass
TV. She has led several community education and mobilization efforts from Domestic Violence to Corrections and CORI Reform. Her work has been featured on radio, television (from NBC to BNN), print and in film festivals. With Press Pass TV, she has led workshops in media
literacy and production at Boston Public Schools, and has presented at various conferences and universities. She is a member of the National Organizers Alliance and has been published nationally in The Youth Media Reporter and the Huffington Post.
Dr. Omar Reid is a licensed educational psychologist and licensed mental health counselor. Dr. Reid received his undergraduate degree from Hamilton College, Clinton, NY. He received his masters degree in counseling psychology from Cambridge College and a CAGS in school psychology from the University of Massachusetts, Boston. He received his doctoral degree in clinical psychology from Antioch University, in Keene, NH.
Dr Reid received his clinical training at The Children’s Hospital in Boston, Boston Medical Center, and the VA Hospital in Montrose New York.
He has specialization in children, adolescent, and adult psychological, neuropsychological, and learning disabilities assessment. He worked as a school psychologist in the Boston Public School system for twelve years. Dr. Reid has over 30 years of experience is a public health expert.
He worked for seven years as community liaison/trainer for the Community Crisis Response team, which is part of Cambridge Hospitals Victims of Violence program.
Dr. Reid is the co-founder and co-Director of Pyramid Builders Associates which is the first and largest Black-Owned and operated, JCAHO accredited license Mental Health Clinic in Massachusetts.
He currently provides learning disabilities assessment for schools. He also provides individual, family, couples, and group counseling. He is the Director of Clinical Services for Academic & Behavioral Clinic, which is a Black owned psychological testing and counseling firm.
Victor McKen is currently serving as a Financial Analyst for Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems. Victor is currently
in an Enterprise Cross Functional Rotation Program and is completing the second of three, one-year rotations. Victor’s
first rotation was in Contracts and he is currently pursuing a third rotation as a Program Manager.
Victor is a Certified Material Program Manager for Raytheon IDS and supported the Consolidated Contract Logistics
Victor has worked for two other Raytheon businesses (RTN NCS and RTN IIS) before joining RTN IDS in the summer
of 2006. While at RTN NCS Victor worked on the Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) as a Radar Systems
Engineer and with RTN IIS Victor supported the Missile Defense National Team – B as a Combat Systems Engineer
(C2BMC). As a RTN IDS employee Victor supported the Missile Defense System Engineering Team as a Systems
Engineer responsible for requirements and algorithm development.
While serving on the Missile Defense System Engineering Team Victor initiated and coordinated a STEM initiative
utilizing Raytheon’s MathMovesU and the Mathcounts competition, for Lincoln Multicultural Middle School, in
Northwest Washington D.C.. (2007)
Victor received his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering, from Florida Agricultural & Mechanical/
Florida State University, in 1990 and is a 2008 Alumnus of the Raytheon IDS Program Management College.