The City of Orlando joined the national initiative in 2014, and since then, has been implementing a cradle-to-career strategy, called My Brother’s Keeper Orlando, that aims to improve life outcomes among Orlando’s boys and young men of color.
MBK Orlando aims to improve academic performance, increase employment, and reduce incarceration among Orlando’s boys and young men of color. Strategies include:
- Replication of Harlem Children’s Zone in Orlando’s most disadvantaged community
- 21st Century Community Learning Centers at all of the city’s middle schools
- Robust AmeriCorps programs at school and after-school sites throughout the city
- Evidence-informed transformation of after-school and summer programs at 16 city recreation centers to impact juvenile crime and academic performance
- Partnership with the Orlando Magic, Orange County Public Schools, the Orlando Police Department and local mentoring organizations to connect 500 boys and young men with positive male role models
- Targeted employment practices and operation of a robust youth employment program
Selected results to date include:
- A 74% drop in juvenile arrests and the establishment of a successful cradle-to-college academic pipeline in Orlando’s highest crime, lowest education, highest poverty neighborhood;
- Increases in GPA, reading, math and science grades, improved attendance, and decreases in school suspensions and school expulsions among participating youth, including a 39% drop in juvenile arrests at participating schools.
Funding for MBK Orlando comes from the City of Orlando, Heart of Florida United Way, 21st Century Community Learning Centers grants, Bank of America, the Orlando Magic, corporate sponsors and the Corporation for National and Community Service.