Last Saturday, Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams joined newly appointed New York City Department of Education Chancellor Richard Carranza, Eagle Academy Foundation President and CEO David Banks and hundreds of students and mentors at JHS 292 Margaret S. Douglas in East New York to launch the Eagle Academy Mentoring Program, a groundbreaking multiyear initiative connecting hundreds of sixth-grade male students of color at middle schools across central and eastern Brooklyn with positive male role models. This program launch is part of the larger kick-off of the Eagle Project, a partnership championed by Adams between the mayor’s Young Men’s Initiative, DOE Office of Equity and Access and EAF that aims to develop and support a network of young men of color from grades 6 to 12 to excel as future leaders committed to community service, scholarly excellence and strong character. Adams, who secured $3 million in city funding for the Eagle Project, highlighted the importance of effectively engaging young men of color and schools learning from each other on educational models that make the most impact to the borough’s future young leaders.
“After years of hard work and as a longtime supporter of the Eagle model of education and mentorship, I’m proud to help launch the Eagle Project,” said Adams. “This movement we are embarking on is all about mentorship for our young men of color, so that our future kings in the county of Kings have role models to help them grow their academic and socioemotional intelligences.”
Since 2005, the EAF has transformed the lives of nearly 3,500 young men of color across six Eagle Academy schools. EAF’s network of public schools stands as a national model of academic excellence and socioemotional development for urban young men of color. Ninety-eight percent of Eagle Academy students were accepted to college, particularly at prestigious universities such as Carnegie Mellon University, Morehouse College, the United States Military Academy at West Point and the University of Pennsylvania. Their network of schools’ graduation rate is 84 percent—far exceeding city, state and national standards for young men of color. The latest DOE statistics found that whereas 74.3 percent of all city students graduated high school on time, only 70 percent of Black students and 68.3 percent of Latino students did so.
“These students will be guided on their three-year middle school journey by positive role models of color, mentors made up of Eagle Academy alumni and current Eagle upper classmen,” said Banks. “These 225 young men are our future leaders of Brooklyn, New York and the world.”
In addition to JHS 292 Margaret S. Douglas, the Eagle Project will pair EAF with Mott Hall IV in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brownsville Collaborative Middle School and Kappa V in Brownsville, MS 394 Mary McLeod Bethune Academy and Ronald Edmonds Learning Center II in Crown Heights, Highland Park Community School in Cypress Hills, JHS 218 James P. Sinnott in East New York and MS 246 Walt Whitman in Flatbush. The program will help build a positive school culture through facilitated professional development grounded in the Eagle Model, a tailored program that helps young men overcome many challenges in their lives that might hinder their academic success and empowers them to meet their goals both inside the classroom and out of school.
“Mentors have played an influential role in my life, and the Eagle Academy Mentoring Program will help connect hundreds of male students of color at middle schools across Brooklyn with male role models,” said Carranza. “This initiative connects students with strong mentors that will provide support and guidance to help them on their path to college and careers.”