Houston Health Department
My Brother's Keeper Houston
Our youth, particularly youth of color, face enormous challenges every day. Gaps between boys and young men of color, and the rest of the population, are found in education, earnings, health, employment, neighborhood safety, workforce development, and encounters with law enforcement and the justice system.
My Brother's Keeper Houston is an ambitious undertaking for our city. Improving future outcomes for our youth and children also means a better quality of life for all Houstonians. This translates to better economic conditions for families, access to quality education for all children and youth, improved health outcomes, a well-trained workforce, greater access to resources, safer neighborhoods, and a host of other factors. As leaders and decision makers and in our community, we need your help and support.
The Houston Health Department serves as the backbone organization of My Brother's Keeper to leverage the expertise of nonprofits, agencies, educational institutions and other partners to coalesce around strategies and evidence-based methodologies and programs seeking to increase opportunities and close disparity gaps that persist in our communities.
My Brother’s Keeper Houston established six goals for life achievement:
- Goal 1: Enter school ready to learn
- Goal 2: Read on third-grade level by the third grade
- Goal 3: Graduate high school ready for college or Career
- Goal 4: Complete Post-Secondary Education or Training
- Goal 5: Enter the Workforce Successfully
- Goal 6: Reduce Crime and Violence and Provide Second Chance Opportunities
- 31% of Houston males 18 to 24 years of age are enrolled in college or graduate school as compared to 39% nationally
- 25.8% of males 18 to 24 years of age in Houston have not completed high school
- 12,000 Number of teens ages 16 to 19 in Houston not attending school and not working
- 48,000 Number of boys and men of color (0 to 25 years of age) in MBK areas
- 0.04% of Spanish speaking students are meeting the Total Literacy Benchmark in pre-K (2015-2016)
- 12.8% of English speaking students are meeting the Total Literacy Benchmark in pre-K (2015-2016)
- 31% of the students in one of the elementary schools in the MBK area who met 3rd Grade reading benchmarks
- 97% of the schools in MBK areas have at least 71% of their students who are economically disadvantaged
- 7 Number of schools in the MBK area with NO books circulated from the school libraries during the previous school calendar
History — President's Challenge
President Obama launched the My Brother's Keeper initiative to address persistent opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color and ensure that all people can reach their full potential. Through this initiative, the administration was joining with cities and towns, businesses, and foundations who are taking important steps to connect young people to mentoring, support networks, and the skills they need to find a good job or go to college and work their way into the middle class. "If you work hard and play by the rules, you should have the opportunity to succeed, and your ability to get ahead should be determined by your hard work, ambition, and go by the circumstances of your birth."
— President Barack Obama, State of the Union, January 25, 2014