Chicago’s At-Risk Youth: Are Mentoring Programs the Answer?

With violence in Chicago making national and international headlines on an almost daily basis, last week Mayor Rahm Emanuel laid out his much-heralded anti-violence strategy.

Aside from hiring hundreds of new police officers, a key element of his plan is to ensure at-risk youth have mentors to guide them toward a path that leads to perhaps college and a job instead of gang membership and jail or even a premature death.

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But when nearly half of African-American males aged 20 to 24 in Chicago don't have a job, can mentoring programs alone be the answer?

Joining host Carol Marin to discuss the mayor’s mentoring plans are Shelby Wyatt, a high school counselor and the founder of the Kenwood Academy Brotherhood, a school-based mentoring program; Lisa Morrison Butler, Commissioner of the Department of Family and Support Services at the City of Chicago; and Anthony Watson, director of the Becoming A Man mentoring program highlighted by Emanuel in his speech last Thursday.

Video: Learn more about the Becoming A Man program.

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June 28: Becoming A Man aims to help group members rethink their responses to high-stress and potentially dangerous situations.

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