Genesis says he was introverted and preferred staying home before he joined the Columbus Urban League’s I Am My Brother’s Keeper (IAMBK) program four years ago. But Lorenzo, his IAMBK mentor, recognized him as a natural born leader who needed nurturing and opportunities. The program provided just that and more for Genesis, who will soon become a junior mentor himself.
The IAMBK program brings out the full potential in young men like Genesis by connecting them with Black male mentors. According to Stephanie Hightower, President and CEO of Columbus Urban League, mentors provide support, opportunities, structure and experiences that may be missing due to systemic racism and inequality in our community. Young men can’t be who they can’t see, she says.