NATIONAL CARES MENTORING MOVEMENT

Meet the organization using an age-old approach to overcome poverty and help young people chase their dreams. Susan L. Taylor, the former Editor–in-Chief of Essence magazine will join us to share the details.

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Chasing the Dream: Poverty and Opportunity in America is a multi-platform public media initiative that provides a deeper understanding of the impact of poverty on American society. Major funding for this initiative is provided by The JPB Foundation. Additional funding is provided by Ford Foundation.

Aired on June 30, 2017; January 1, 2018; July 3, 2018; December 28, 2018; July 15, 2019. 

TRANSCRIPT

> GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO THIS SPECIAL EDITION OF 'METROFOCUS.'

TONIGHT WE'RE TAKING AN IN DEPTH LOOK AT THE CONTEMPORARY STATE OF THE AMERICAN DREAM, THE CHANGING NATURE OF JOBS, THE VANISHING MIDDLE CLASS.

WAGE DISPARITY AND ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY.

THIS IS OUR ONGOING REPORTING INITIATIVE CALLED CHASING THE DREAM.

POVERTY AND OPPORTUNITY IN AMERICA.

FIRST WE'RE TAKING A LOOK AT A VERY IMPORTANT PROGRAM THE NATIONAL CARES MENTORING MOVEMENT A PROGRAM WITH A MESSAGE WITH A SIMPLE MESSAGE MENTORING CAN CHANGE LIVES.

BECOME A MENTOR.

HELP SECURE THE MOST VULNERABLE AMONG US, OUR CHILDREN, OUR BELOVED CHILDREN.

SO I'M IN.

I'M IN.

I'M IN.

I'M IN.

I'M IN.

I'M IN.

I'M IN.

I'M IN.

I'M IN.

ARE YOU?

SINCE 2006 THE NATIONAL CARES MENTORING MOVEMENT HAS RECRUITED TRAINED AND CONNECTED MORE THAN 140,000 CARING MENTORS WITH MORE THAN 200,000 CHILDREN IN SCHOOLS AND YOUTH SERVING PROGRAMS IN 58 U.S. CITIES.

SUSAN TAYLOR IS THE FORMER EDITOR CHIEF OF 'ESSENCE' MAGAZINE AND THE FOUNDER OF THE NATIONAL CARES MENTORING PROGRAM.

JACK FORD SAT DOWN WITH HER TO ASK WHY THIS PROGRAM IS SO IMPORTANT FOR ALLOWING YOUNG UNDERSERVED CHILDREN TO REALIZE THEIR DREAMS.

I WALK THROUGH AIRPORTS OR DOWN THE STREETS AND READERS WILL COME UP AND SAY I LOVE THE MAGAZINE.

YOU'RE WRITING IN THE BOOKS.

THE MAGAZINE ITSELF CHANGED MY LIFE.

WE KNOW WE GO TO WORSHIP SERVICE AND THERE MAY BE ONE PERSON IN THE PULPIT AND NOT EVEN WORSHIP SERVICE ALONE, EVEN CONFERENCES.

THIS PERSON IS THIS DYNAMIC SPEAKER.

WE'RE TAKING NOTES AND SOMETHING IN US SHIFTS.

WHY CAN'T WE DO THAT WITH SCHOOLS.

WHY CAN'T WE DO THAT IN PLACES WHERE OUR CHILDREN ARE THERE IN GREAT NUMBERS AND REALLY NEED THAT KIND OF SUPPORT?

THAT GAVE RISE TO THE RISING WHICH IS A PROGRAM WHICH I'M SO EXCITED ABOUT.

I WANT TO SHOW OUR VIEWERS SOMETHING.

YOU HAD RECENTLY, YOUR GALA FUNDRAISING DID MARVELOUSLY WELL AND PART OF IT WAS ESSENTIALLY SORT OF TESTIFYING, IF YOU WILL, BY SOME PEOPLE, YOUNG PEOPLE WHO HAVE BENEFITTED FROM THIS AND IT CAN BE SUCH A COMPELLING RESPONSE TO WHAT YOU'VE DONE.

TAKE A QUICK LOOK AT TWO OF THEM HERE.

I WANT TO COME OUT AND TALK WITH YOU ABOUT THEM.

I ALWAYS KNEW I WANTED TO DO WITH MORE WITH MY LIFE.

I DIDN'T WANT TO END UP IN PRISON OR IN A CASKET.

AT THE SAME TIME I WAS FEELING THIS WAY A NEW PROGRAM CAME INTO MY SCHOOL CALLED HORIZON.

THE PROGRAM AND PEOPLE WHO WORKED THERE SHIFTED MY ENERGY.

I LEARNED I WANTED TOO MUCH MORE MYSELF TO LET BAD ENERGY CORRUPT ME.

BEING AROUND SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE MEANT MANY THINGS INCLUDING WHAT IT MEANT TO BE A MAN.

[ APPLAUSE ]

MY NAME IS KYTIE AND I WAS NEVER SUPPOSED TO BE HERE.

NONE OF YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO KNOW MY NAME OR HEAR MY VOICE.

I WAS SUPPOSED TO BE IN THE STREETS, PRISON OR DEAD.

THAT'S THE STORY OF TOO MANY YOUNG PEOPLE OF MY GENERATION.

AND IT COULD HAVE BEEN MY STORY AS WELL.

INSTEAD, I STAND BEFORE YOU AS A TEACHER, A MENTOR, AND A SURVIVOR.

[ APPLAUSE ]

SO YOU LOOK AT THOSE TWO YOUNG PEOPLE AND FIRST THING THEY SAY, IT WORKS.

IT CAN WORK AND THEY ARE EVIDENCE.

IT CAN WORK FOR SELF-ESTEEM, CULTURAL IDENTITY AND IT CAN WORK FOR BIGGER ISSUES SUCH AS POVERTY.

HOW SO?

WELL LOOK AT THE YOUNG MAN WHO JUST SPOKE.

HE DIDN'T HAVE ONE TO ONE MENTORING WITH US IN SCHOOL ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF CHICAGO AND IN THAT SCHOOL IN ONE ACADEMIC YEAR 30 YOUNG PEOPLE WERE SHOT.

CHAOS.

HE WAS PART OF THE GROUP WHERE MENTORING THOUSANDS OF CHILDREN IN THAT SCHOOL THROUGH GROUP MENTORING.

A THOUSAND STUDENTS MR.ING STUDENT BODY AS CHILDREN ARE SHIFT FROM SCHOOL TO SCHOOL.

IT'S CHAOS.

SIX EMPLOYEES.

WE HAVE PSYCHOLOGISTS AND FORMER TEACHERS AND PRINCIPALS THAT RUN THE PROGRAM.

HE WAS PART OF THE GROUP WE WERE MENTORING.

YOU HEARD THE REST OF THAT, YOU KNOW WHAT HE SAID?

HERE ARE MY GRADES TODAY.

HE HELD UP HIS REPORT CARD.

ALL As AND Bs.

WE'RE SHIFTING CONSCIOUSNESS.

WE'RE LETTING YOUNG PEOPLE KNOW THEY ARE INTELLIGENT.

THEY ARE NOT WHO THEY SEE THEMSELVES REPRESENTED AS ON THE NIGHTLY NEWS.

NO YOUNG PERSON OUT HERE IS TRYING TO MAKE TROUBLE, WHO HAS A GUN IN HIS OR HER POCKET OR TRYING TO ASSAULT SOMEBODY IF THEY HAVE A JOB AND SEE A WAY FORWARD.

WHAT WE'RE DOING IS SEEKING LIFE IN YOUNG PEOPLE.

HELPING THEM TO UNDERSTAND WHY ACADEMICS ARE IMPORTANT.

AND THAT THEY ARE INTELLIGENT ENOUGH TO LEARN.

WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT SCHOOLS THAT ARE JUST -- THEY ARE SUCH A GULF BETWEEN WHAT SCHOOLS IN POOR NEIGHBORHOODS HAVE AND THE RESOURCES THAT ARE AVAILABLE TO YOUNG PEOPLE WHO ARE IN WELL RESOURCED SCHOOLS AND WELL RESOURCED FAMILIES.

SO IN SCHOOLS LIKE WE'RE WORKING IN, IN HARLEM AND OTHER CITIES IN THE COUNTRY WHERE WE'RE PILOTING PROGRAMS WE HAVE YOUNG PEOPLE WHO DON'T HAVE COMPUTERS OR GREAT SCIENCE LABS OR HAVE BAND EQUIPMENT OR EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES, TEACHERS WHO ARE OVERWHELMED AND NEED MORE SUPPORT AND A BUDGET THAT IS CUT EVERY SINGLE YEAR.

SO WE'RE SAYING WE CAN DO BETTER THAN THIS.

THE NATIONAL CARES MENTORING MOVEMENT IS A COMMUNITY MOBILIZATION MOVEMENT, GETTING THE COMMUNITY INVOLVED IN THE RESCUE AND ADVANCEMENT OF OUR YOUNG.

WE CAN FIX IT AND WE ARE.

CERTAINLY NOT TOO LATE.

MARVELOUS WORK BY YOU.

SO HAPPY YOU CAME IN AND CHATTED WITH US.

WE LOOK FORWARD TO CHAT WITH YOU.

THANKS FOR JOINING US.

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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