‘My Brother’s Keeper’ Initiative Hits Close To Home For Some Memphians

(Memphis) President Barack Obama is launching an initiative to give young black and Hispanic males a chance to make it in life.

My Brother’s Keeper focuses on critical challenges and risk factors young men of color face everyday.

Charlie Caswell knows a thing or two about going down the wrong path.

“I’m from the streets,” Caswell said. “I grew up in the projects here in Memphis. I dropped out of high school,” he said.

Caswell never gave up. Instead, he set his eyes on the future.

The father of six is making a difference in the lives of young men with a program he runs, called The Rangeline Community Development Corporation.

The President’s newest initiative, My Brother’s Keeper, aims to help young black and Hispanic men succeed.

“We need to change the statistics, President Obama said when he announced the program on Thursday. “Not just for the sake of the young men and boys, but for the sake of America’s future,” he uttered.

Several groups across the country have answered the call to give money. They are expected to dish out a total of about $150 million for the program.

The money will fund everything from job opportunities to education and juvenile justice reform.

Tennessee State Representative Antonio “2 Shay” Parkinson said he hopes the effects of the initiative will be felt all of the way down to Memphis city streets.

“With the fact that these young African American men are more likely to be murdered, more likely to drop out of school, more likely to come out of school lacking proficiency in reading and comprehension,” Parkinson said.

These are problems people like Caswell see everyday. They are the same problems behind why the president is trying so hard to hold on to his “brothers.”

Click here to learn more about the ‘My Brother’s Keeper’ initiative.

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