My Brother's Keeper aims to help boys, minorities - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

My Brother's Keeper aims to help boys, minorities

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TYLER (KYTX) - Many community leaders are happy to hear about the new initiative helping young men, especially minorities.

President Obama announced yesterday the idea behind My Brother's Keeper.

Reverend Jerome Milton has adopted 6 kids, saying he wants to give those children the same chance he had.

"I would've been a statistic, I would've never even had a chance to even try to go to Yale, because I would've been in jail," says Milton.

He credits powerful influences like coaches, preachers and even his foster mother for keeping him on track.

And he says he's overjoyed to see President Obama throwing his weight behind an initiative designed to help young boys.

"After 14 foster homes, 2 reformatory schools, and spending most of my life in the Hillcrest Orphanage," says Milton.

President Obama's My Brother's Keeper will put money and muscle behind programs helping at-risk youth stay in school and out of jail.

He's especially looking at minorities, and cited his own childhood.

"I didn't have a dad house, and I was angry about it even though I didn't necessarily realize it at the time," says the President.

"The need is tremendous," says Russell Bailiff.

Bailiff is a psycho therapist who works with children.

He also helps organize mentorship programs at Azleway Boy's Ranch

"Some of the more valuable interventions don't require education, its' not rocket science, it really requires physical presence and consistency over time," says Bailiff.

Bailiff says just showing up can make the biggest impact.

"We all do better psychologically when we're giving back, and mentorship is a great way to do that. And you don't have to have a special skill set, just have to have the ability to care," says Bailliff.

"We have to become a part of the village," says Milton.

Business and foundation leaders have announced pledges of $200,000,000 over the next five years.

They'll finalize the infrastructure for the new investments over the next 90 days.

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