Jason Hargrove, began his work with nonprofit organizations at the age of 13 and has in turn created a program known as The
Brotherhood within a local Queens school.The program targets young men who would typically fall through the cracks left by the lack of community programs, leaving them prey to the temptations of gang and street life.
On a personal mission to uplift and give back to black men, Hargrove who graduated from the University of Albany with a degree in sociology and Communications with a minor in African Studies has encouraged each participant within the program to pursue higher education.This year the program has maintained both a 100% graduation as well as College acceptance rate from it’s 60 participants.
Initially, the program began within the schools athletic programs, with basketball and football players but it caught on with what some might deem at risk students as well. The curriculum of the program is a combination of volunteer work, education and training within public speaking. For those who wish to join the ranks, it takes roughly a year to join the program and they must participate in Toy drives, Aids walks, clothing drives, gathering food for the homeless and most importantly, maintain a high gpa. Through this program young men learn the importance of maintaining eye contact,a stern handshake and even how to tie a tie, skills many of them would miss out on without it’s existence.
Members within each of the program are at various stages depending on their grade, with each year focusing on a particular goal or task.
- Freshman yr – seek to “join” or “pledge” for the program participating in volunteer work.
- Sophomore yr – new member, participate is charity activity encourage new members.
- Junior yr – create a new community service idea
- Senior year – Students each focus on deciding what school to go to. learn about financial aid and take College tours.
While it may seem like all business, the program is sprinkled with fun trips and outings as rewards to it’s members as well as basketball tournaments and trips to sports camps. Hats off, to Jason Hargrove for all his effort towards creating positive change among our black men and within our inner city communities.