I Am My Brother (IAMB) program for boys and young men ages 8 – 19 years old in their transition through adolescence and successfully to adulthood. Positive role models and coaches provide a major source of support to the young brothers and help them reach a point of inner clarity and develop positive self-definition. In the mainstream culture where men of African descent are often depicted in the media as the peril of society, Ifetayo provides our students with the counter perspective in which black men are leaders, providers, scholars and contributors to their community both locally and globally.
An important component of the Brother’s Rites of Passage program is the introduction and full discussion of historical and contemporary issues young boys and men of African descent face in America and globally. These discussions serve as a foundation for developing the skills necessary to survive the dangers of racial profiling, police brutality, incarceration, gang membership and drug use. The IAMB program is subdivided into three separate age levels: “Pre-Rites” serves youth ages 8 to 11, “Transition Rites” serves youth 12-13, and “Teen Rites” serves youth ages 14-19 creating three separate and sequential program tracks. Programs are located at Ifetayo’s on-campus location and at partner public schools.
Goals for the program are:
- To teach boys and young men successful life skills through goal setting and planning;
- To provide opportunities for participation in modern day coming-of- age rituals;
- To offer Health and Wellness Workshops that provides the tools to ensure mental, physical, spiritual and emotional health of all the young brothers. Workshops address pregnancy prevention, drug use prevention, HIV/AIDS awareness and the avoidance gang involvement;
- To help each student develop and act upon his responsibility to engage in activities that are of service to his community and aid in its development;
- To provide direct training in personal and professional skill development, conflict resolution, sexual awareness, pregnancy prevention and community leadership;
- To improve academic performance;
- To improve vocational viability;
- To assure a high level of college matriculation;
- To support and build positive interactions with family members;
- To support effective communication, nonviolent conflict resolution, and tools to avoid destructive behaviors;
- To decrease the number of youth who are involved in gang activity and/or interface with the criminal justice system.