Cyrus R. Vance, Jr.

District Attorney, New York County

For Immediate Release

August 10, 2011


Pilot Program Exposes Students to Educational and Workforce Possibilities, and Cultural Experiences

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., City Council Speaker Christine M. Quinn, Council Member Robert Jackson, Council Member Inez E. Dickens, and Khary Lazarre-White, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Brotherhood/Sister Sol, joined nearly 40 students on the steps of City Hall today to announce the launch of a new summer internship program. Based at The City College of New York, the six-week program kicked off in late July. The participating students, who are between the ages of 12 and 16, attend educational workshops and tours at some of New York’s leading cultural institutions and businesses.

“This program was born out of a desire to engage youth this summer, and provide them with unique educational and cultural opportunities,” said District Attorney Vance. “Learning doesn’t stop when school is out, and thanks to the generosity of the City Council, these 40 teens and pre-teens are being exposed to some of the best that New York has to offer through a multitude of workshops and educational field trips.”

Council Speaker Quinn said: “Today’s announcement could mean the start of something very big for the young people participating in this program. At the completion of this internship, students will have had the opportunity to experience a world of cultural and educational institutions while also giving back to the community. Young people can have life altering, lasting, positive experiences in this type of environment. I want to thank Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, The Brotherhood/Sister Sol, and my colleagues for their unwavering support in helping our young people thrive.”

Council Member Dickens said: “I have admired and supported the work of Khary Lazarre-White, Executive Director of Brotherhood/Sister Sol, and his dedicated staff and volunteers. This project embraces our young people. It is also inclusive of emancipated youth. Through exposure to positive educational and cultural enrichment, this project opens the doors to limitless possibility for our young. I want to applaud Speaker Christine Quinn, for she has been consistent in leveraging resources to stem the tide of youth violence and gang activity. It is my hope that through continued collaboration with the DA’s Office, the City Council, law enforcement, community based organizations, concerned parents and citizens, we will see the day when we do not lose another precious child to senseless violence.”

Council Member Jackson said: “Taking a fresh look at what is around us is a challenge at any age; understanding the significance of what we see, even more so. I am very pleased that District Attorney Vance and Brotherhood/Sister Sol will be collaborating and working together to open the eyes of forty lucky youth to some of the astounding cultural resources that are right here in our neighborhoods. I thank my Council colleagues and the Speaker for committing the funding that makes this program possible; the horizons of these young people will be forever broadened as a result of participating and I believe they, in turn, will share what they know with their friends and families.”

Brotherhood/Sister Sol Executive Director and Co-Founder Khary Lazarre-White said: “The Brotherhood/Sister Sol’s Future Foundation summer immersion program builds on sixteen years of our youth development model – we are seeking to expose young people to workforce possibilities, culture, and higher education; to provide nurturing and holistic mentorship; and to empower youth to define a moral and ethical code by which to live their lives. I appreciate the work of the Manhattan DA’s Office and City Council in facilitating this program.”

Brotherhood/Sister Sol Program Coordinator Frantz Jerome said: “The Bro/Sis Future Foundation program exists to guide children in Harlem and open their eyes to cultural, educational and career possibilities. It is an introduction to the ideals of Bro/Sis: Positivity, Community, Knowledge and Future.”

Led by several counselors who are former graduates of the Brotherhood/Sister Sol program themselves, the participants in this program take educational and cultural field trips up to three days each week, to places including Central Park, El Museo del Barrio, and Fordham University. When not out in the community, the students attend workshops at City College on a range of topics, including community building, conflict resolution, and spoken word performance. Upon completion of the six-week program, participants will receive a $250 stipend.



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