NECSD Launches My Brother’s Keeper Initiative

NEWBURGH – On Saturday, April 21, 2018, the Newburgh Enlarged City School District officially launched My Brother’s Keeper (MBK). The district accepted the challenge earlier this year and students have been participating in MBK initiatives throughout the year. This event officially marked the occasion that Newburgh joined hundreds of cities nationwide in accepting President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper challenge. Aimed at improving life outcomes and opening up opportunities for all youth, especially young men of color, Newburgh’s MBK initiative is a partnership of the Newburgh Enlarged City School District, local municipalities, and several community-based organizations.

“It is time to move from rhetoric to action. The MBK movement crystalizes our district’s efforts to better educate our scholars. The national and state MBK milestones serve to guide districts who are committed to equity and access,” stated Dr. Roberto Padilla the Superintendent of Schools.

Various dignitaries in attendance included:
* Chancellor Betty Rosa, NYS Regents
* Regent Judith Johnson
* Dr. Anael Alston, Assistant Commission of Equity, Access and Community Engagement
* Sue Prokosch, Vice President, NECSD BOE
* Philip Howard, NECSD BOE
* Mr. Harold Leath, Jr. Senior District Representative for U.S. Representative Sean Patrick Maloney
* Councilman Tom Basile
* Michael Ciaravino, Manager, City of Newburgh
* Torrance Harvey, Mayor, City of Newburgh
* Anthony Grice, Councilman, City of Newburgh
* Principal Baruti Kafele, Keynote Speaker
* Sara Feliz, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, NECSD
MBK Scholars from Newburgh Free Academy North, Excelsior Academy, Kameren King, and Jeremiah Palemon were introduced to attendees as MBK Fellows. MBK Scholars from NFA West, South Middle School, Balmville, Vails Gate, and Horizon on Hudson were also acknowledged. MBK Scholars King and Palemon were also recognized on April 27th at the NYS MBK Symposium.

The day consisted of various speakers and breakout activities:
• Jahzeire Grant, a South Middle School MBK Scholar read a poem titled: “Am I My Brother’s Keeper?” (poem below)
• Reverend Nelson McAllister offered an opening prayer
• Dr. Roberto Padilla, Superintendent of the Newburgh Enlarged City School District offered opening remarks and introduced key leaders of MBK, locally and throughout the state
• Principal Baruti Kafele was the Keynote speaker
• Mr. Edward Lawson, JD, MBA, President of FACES, Inc. gave the MBK: Newburgh Rationale and Overview
• Breakout sessions were held
• Dr. Ebony Green, Director of Equity and Access at NECSD gave closing remarks

Breakout sessions included:

Enter School Ready to Learn, facilitated by Mrs. Ann Pagliaro, Executive Director of Head Start of Eastern Orange County and Mrs. Janett Rodriguez, Education Coordinator of Head Start of Eastern Orange County

Read at Grade Level by Third Grade, facilitated by Ms. Sara Feliz, NECSD Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, Mr. Danny Dottin, Principal of Balmville School
Graduate from High School Ready for College and Career, facilitated by Dr. Lynne Pampel, Director of Pupil Personnel Services at NECSD and Dr. Ebony Green, Director of Equity and Access at NECSD.

Completing Postsecondary Education or Training, facilitated by Dr. Janine Bixler, Mount Saint Mary College, Chair of the Division of Education, and Mr. Kevin White, Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Club of Newburgh

Successfully Entering the Workforce, facilitated by Ms. Vera Best, Director BEST Resource Center, Inc. and Ms. Kori Rogers, Employment Service Coordinator, Employment Training Administration

Growing Up in a Safe Community and Get a Second Change if They Make A Mistake, facilitated by Mr. Edward Lawson, JD, MBA, President of FACES, Inc.
MBK Young Scholar Sessions, Facilitated by Mr. Torrance Harvey, Teacher at Newburgh Free Academy, North Campus and Mayor of the City of Newburgh
Translation services were available for those who were interested.

The Newburgh Enlarged City School District accepted the My Brother’s Keeper Challengeon January 3, 2018.For more information on the national initiative being adopted in NYS, visit

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