Mentorship is a vital aspect to the education of young people throughout their schooling and into their adult lives, one Bronx charter school principal says.
Isaiah Brown, principal of newly founded Co-op City based Capital Prep charter school discussed the significance of mentorship this week during a Black History Month forum held by Councilman Kevin Riley along with two other youth empowerment guests, Sherman Browne and Pamela Damon.
Brown’s school is opening as an opportunity not just to offer education of self but also for college and career readiness while also teaching the consciousness of social justice and cultivating emotional and social change – an objective which mentoring helps to carry out.
Speaking in front of a sign reading “We Will Change the World,” Brown discussed ways of empowering the youth, speaking on the “halo effect” of positive role models for kids and teenagers to see who look like them and grew up in areas like the Bronx.
He also urged the importance of dispelling misconceptions for young people of color such as a collegiate education being out of reach.
Brown also says it’s important to be aware of such misnomers appearing on social media while encouraging the youth and peers to make proper choices while talking to their parents or a mentor role more often than usual.
“Our parents are not everywhere we are,” he said, explaining that young people need to find an outlet where they can be vulnerable even if they are not family.
Though, parents have an obligation to check in with mentors, the principal noted.
If looking for a mentor, Brown suggests talking to teachers and school faculty members for guidance.
“Adults are not going to say no,” he said, continuing to explain the significance of “maintaining the village” to give young people a sense of community to lean on and support one another.
Brown also admitted that mentorship is something time consuming and is often multifaceted.
It is though, a positive way for youth to develop, he says, urging that good influences make themselves more visible to young people in areas like the Bronx.
Principal Brown is also calling for youth summit to promote good choices and the ideas of mentorship.