St. Pete Wants to Create a ‘Cohort of Champions’
The Cohort of Champions training program for 100 African-American males aged 12-24 involves educational, entrepreneurial/workforce, and enrichment/second chances training opportunities. The program is accepting applications.
ST. PETERSBURG – The city of St. Petersburg is accepting applications for the Cohort of Champions Training Initiative, a key part of the city’s My Brother’s and Sister’s Keeper Initiative.
The inaugural training program for 100 African American males involves educational, entrepreneurial/workforce, and enrichment/second chances training opportunities. The year-long COC training initiative is the next step to prepare African-American boys and young men for the future as well as to develop a trained, qualified and ready workforce. The program will accept 100 boys and young men, ages 12 to 24.
One of the My Brother’s and Sister’s Keeper umbrella of programs, the Cohort of Champions training initiative is designed to provide tangible investments in youth over the next year. The goal of the cohort is to develop character, support education, provide hands-on experience and workforce readiness training as well as wrap-around support services.
“Earlier this year, I articulated the city’s full commitment to changing the trajectory for our at-risk youth,” St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman said. “I promised to invest up to $1 million in our youth and their families. This cohort makes good on that promise.”
The Cohort of Champions consists of seven programs within three areas of training and enrichment:
Educational training includes a combination of after-chool employment training and/or second chances programs with post-secondary educational opportunities;
Entrepreneurial training involves career readiness training and entrepreneurship training;
Enrichment initiatives/second chances programs will offer wrap-around services and workshops for the families of all members of the inaugural cohort, as well as sports team building, a focus on healthy eating and cooking, role modeling and mentoring round-up activities.
My Brother’s and Sister’s Keeper, or MBSK, is the city’s version of President Barack Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative, a national program for communities to create and adopt their own programs to advance opportunities for minority male youth.
“Inspired by the White House MBK national model, local officials adapted and implemented our own programs specific to the needs of St. Petersburg,” said the Rev. Kenny Irby, director of the Cohort of Champions Training Initiatives. “My Brother’s & Sister’s Keeper and all of its components demonstrate the collective action of a cohesive community – families, government, non-profits, social service agencies, education, schools, media, and the business community to improve life and opportunities to all,” he added.
City officials first launched MBSK with the grassroots “Not My Son” community engagement campaign last summer. Featuring a series of neighborhood canvassing activities with colorful yard signs, Pledge Cards and T-shirts, Not My Son was wholeheartedly embraced by the community.
Applications are available at St. Petersburg recreation centers and libraries, or online at stpete.org. or Library. Applications are due Nov. 21. For information, contact the Rev. Kenny Irby, at (727) -893-7808 or Kenneth.Irby@stpete.org.
St. Petersburg | Cohort of Champions | Education | TB Reporter
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