New York State My Brother's Keeper: Changing the Narrative

Summer 2024

Anael Alston

Dear Colleagues, Partners, and Friends,



Thank you for all of your hard work in making this a successful school year. I would like to extend my sincere appreciation for everything you do to help students across New York State as they work to achieve success.


For those of you who were able to attend the 2024 MBK Symposium, thank you! We broke the record with nearly 1,300 attendees! Students, parents, teachers, elected officials, and leaders from various industries converged in Albany, New York, to get informed, inspired, and empowered.


This year brings several exciting announcements including the induction of the 2024 MBK Fellows, the announcement of funding for supporting My Sister’s Keeper statewide, and the announcement of MBK Coaching for MBK Fellows who have graduated from our K-12 initiative.

Also, in case you missed it, graduating MBK Fellow James Baker, of Brooklyn, New York, surprised Commissioner Rosa with flowers and presented Chancellor Young with the Sankofa Award for Generational Visionary Leadership. This special tribute can be viewed at the 1:09:20 mark through the 1:28:20 mark of the MBK Symposium Main Hall video.


Finally, the entire symposium was a testament to and celebration of all that we can do on behalf of young people when we work together, stand on the shoulders of our ancestors, rely on the wisdom of our elders, and relentlessly pursue excellence in the fields of education and youth development as we lead our students to their highest potential.

Chancellor Young and Commissioner Rosa holding awards

Commissioner Rosa and Chancellor Young

Enjoy the summer, and I look forward to what we can accomplish together next year.


Your Partner in Education,


Dr. Anael Alston

Assistant Commissioner

2024 MBK Symposium Video Recordings Available

NYSED hosted the 2024 New York State My Brother’s Keeper Symposium on May 30, 2024. The event featured nationally renowned guest speakers and student and educator panels.


Video recordings from the symposium, including the breakout sessions, are now available on the NYSMBK website.

2024 MBK Symposium Photo Gallery

Chancellor Young at 2024 MBK Symposium

Board of Regents Chancellor Lester W. Young, Jr. addressed the crowd of nearly 1,300 people.

Commissioner Rosa at 2024 MBK Symposium

Commissioner Betty A. Rosa welcomed students, families, educational leaders, advocates, and experts to Albany.

Carl Heastie at 2024 MBK Symposium

We were honored to have

New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie offer inspiring words to attendees.

Andrea Stewart-Cousins at 2024 MBK Symposium

It was a privilege to have

New York State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins on the main stage.

Guillermo Linares at 2024 MBK Symposium

We were honored to hear from New York State Higher Education Services Corporation President Dr. Guillermo Linares.

Anael Alston at 2024 MBK Symposium

Dr. Anael Alston welcomed participants to the 2024 New York State My Brother's Keeper Symposium.

MBK Fellows Induction at 2024 MBK Symposium

NYSED announced the seventh class of My Brother’s Keeper Fellows.

Cheryl Wills at 2024 MBK Symposium

Participants heard powerful words from award-winning television journalist and author Cheryl Wills.

Jemal King at 2024 MBK Symposium

Jemal King gave an energetic and inspiring keynote address.

Steppers at 2024 MBK Symposium

Steppers from Pathways High School MBK performed on the main stage.

Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz at 2024 MBK Symposium

Dr. Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz discussed the transformative power of mentorship.

Celeste Terry at 2024 MBK Symposium

Celeste Terry highlighted the successful financial literacy model implemented by District 18 in Brooklyn and offered practical guidance for empowering students with essential financial skills.

Deborah Wortham at 2024 MBK Symposium

Dr. Deborah Wortham, Roosevelt UFSD superintendent, led a transformative breakout session designed to empower participants with the knowledge and tools necessary to relaunch initiatives supporting boys and young men of color. 

Chris Crumpler at 2024 MBK Symposium

Chris Crumpler led a dynamic workshop to equip participants with best practices for fostering meaningful connections between schools, families, and communities.

Keith Brown and student audience at 2024 MBK Symposium

Keith L. Brown led a highly interactive session with MBK students and shared his invaluable insights on navigating life’s journey with excellence and resilience.

Alfonso Wyatt moderating student panel at 2024 MBK Symposium

Dr. Alfonso Wyatt moderated a powerful MBK Fellows Student Panel session on the main stage.

Steel Pan Band from Meyer Levin Junior High School at 2024 MBK Symposium

The Steel Pan Band from Meyer Levin Junior High School performed on the main stage.

Channel View High School choir at 2024 MBK Symposium

Students from the Channel View High School choir performed on the main stage.

New York State My Brother's Keeper Fellows Program

The purpose of the MBK Fellows Grant is to provide rising 12th grade high school students, with an emphasis on boys and young men of color, with opportunities to gain authentic leadership experience(s) and develop service projects beneficial to the schools they attend and the communities they live in.

Legislative Tour

At the New York State My Brother’s Keeper Symposium, the 2024 MBK Fellows had a unique opportunity to delve into the heart of New York State government. The Fellows engaged with New York State lawmakers—including an exclusive meeting with New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie. They also explored the historic halls where laws are crafted and gained insight into the process of budgetary decision-making.

MBK Fellows visit the NYS legislature
MBK Fellows meet with Speaker Heastie

New York State My Brother's Keeper Indigenous Education Program

The purpose of the MBK Indigenous Education Program is to increase the academic achievement and college/career readiness of Indigenous students, with an emphasis on boys and young men.

Indigenous Education College and Career Fair

The My Brother’s Keeper Indigenous Education College and Career Fair was held on May 31, 2024. The event was sponsored by NYSED’s Office of Access, Equity, and Community Engagement Services and hosted by the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry.


125 Indigenous students from Akron CSD, Center Moriches UFSD, Gowanda CSD, LaFayette CSD, Lakeshore CSD, Massena CSD, Niagara Wheatfield CSD, Salamanca CSD, Salmon River CSD, Silver Creek CSD, and Southampton UFSD were in attendance. Also in attendance were project staff, chaperones, school board members, and NYSED staff.


Students were able to hear about college financial assistance for NYS Indigenous students from Clarissa Jacobs, Coordinator of the NYSED Indigenous Education Unit. They also had tours of SUNY ESF and Syracuse University. During lunch, students were greeted by SUNY ESF President Joanie Mahoney and heard an inspirational and historical keynote address provided by Dr. Lori Quigley, recent past President of Medaille University. Students in grades 7-12 enjoyed the afternoon as they first heard from a panel of Indigenous college students about their experiences and then participated in the College and Career Fair where there were representatives from 30 NYS colleges and universities and a number of building trades. Students in grades 4-6 had a separate afternoon program that featured dancers and singers from the Onondaga nation followed by a STEM hands-on workshop.


It was a full day as students and staff traveled from as far away as the most western parts of the State to Long Island. Nevertheless, all who participated thought the day was a powerful experience as students from at least nine NYS Indigenous tribes were able to come together to share culture, post-secondary educational opportunities, and a day filled with many positive memories.

Dr. Lori Quigley and students

Keynote speaker Dr. Lori Quigley with the Indigenous MBK students from the Onondaga Nation, LaFayette High School

Clarissa Jacobs

Clarissa Jacobs, Coordinator of the NYSED Indigenous Education Unit

Kimberly Hardaway

Kimberly Hardaway, Director of the NYSED Office of Family and Community Engagement

Learn More

Find out more about New York State's My Brother's Keeper initiative by visiting our MBK website.

Join the Conversation

If your school or community would like to share a story to include in a future edition of this newsletter, please email photos and news items to NYSMBK@nysed.gov.


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