Details About Our Program

Mission Statement

My Brother’s Keeper founded in 2003 by Harry Sydney as a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, My Brother’s Keeper provides “Straight Talk – Sound Direction” mentoring to thousands of men and boys to help them develop the knowledge and skills to take charge of their lives and make healthy choices. The integrity, respect, and standards they learn will help them become better individuals, family members and valued members of our community. The programs include One-on-One Mentoring, Group Forum Sessions, AODA Assessments and Employment Assistance Program. Everyone is welcome regardless of race, creed, color, or ethnic background.

My Brother’s Keeper is a male mentoring program dedicated to providing Straight Talk~ Sound Direction mentoring services to assist boys and men who are dealing with the hardships of life by helping them live with Integrity, Respect and Standards (IRS Code). We are committed to providing our clients with the knowledge and skills to make positive decisions and changes in their lives.

Types of Clients Served: Participants range from ALL YOUNG MEN identified by schools, courts, and parents to ALL MEN struggling with relationships, job dissatisfaction, and financial difficulty and defining and achieving realistic goals. Typical problems encountered include Academic Failure, Domestic Abuse, Anger Management, Low Self Esteem, Alcohol/Drug Abuse, Depression/Anxiety, Job Loss, and Gang Violence.

For over 20 years, My Brother’s Keeper has been committed to mentoring boys and creating new opportunities. Successful mentoring provides the boys and men in the program the leadership skills they need to be productive members of OUR community! Mentors transform lives!

One-on-One Mentoring

Clients meet for 45-60 minutes with one of our mentors. Mentoring is not a transfer of wisdom from one to another. It is a relationship where two people grow together.  We get to the core issues. Problem areas are identified; causes of the problems discussed; realistic expectations and goals are set and a game plan for change is jointly developed. The clients learn how to see the big picture, to understand what they can and can’t control, and to become accountable and responsible for their actions based upon a philosophy created by Harry Sydney titled “The IRS Code” Integrity, Respect and Standards.

Group Forum Sessions – at Schools and Brown County Juvenile Detention Center

Group forum sessions for at-risk individuals at area schools provide the opportunity to correct problems early. The group sessions deal with issues affecting the young men and help provide the life skills necessary to take control of their lives.  The sessions teach them to be accountable for their decisions, make those decisions ethically and honestly, reflect on their course of action, and modify their behavior to improve their lives and the lives of those around them. The sessions teach the students the “Power Tree” – who’s in charge and where the individuals fit. Also, the sessions let them know that they are not alone, and help is available. We help them work through their problems without resorting to delinquent/criminal behavior. Participants of the group forum sessions often are referred to follow up one-on-one mentoring sessions. 

The Brown County Juvenile Detention Center group mentoring program offers a unique mentoring opportunity. The group mentoring sessions are conducted each Tuesday morning, which is very early in the detention process. The participants are truly “a captive audience” who are seeing firsthand how their way is working, how they have changed from a name to a number.  The Detention Center is where their life choices have gotten them. They are seeing firsthand “their future” if they don’t change their lives. Hopefully this is their wakeup call. But that reality check itself may not be a sufficient deterrent to crime without the tools they need to change their lives and their future. They need to answer the question “When you leave here, what you are going to do differently?”  The Straight Talk ~ Sound Direction in the group mentoring is based on My Brother’s Keeper IRS Code – Integrity, Respect, and Standards. The participants learn how to live by and use this code as a tool to help them make sound life decisions, take responsibility for their actions, and change their future. 

Alcohol or Other Drug Abuse (AODA) Assessments

AODA assessments are typically a court ordered procedure but are available to anyone concerned with an Individual’s alcohol or drug abuse. Assessments are private and confidential. The AODA assessor meets with the individual to determine the individual’s substance use/abuse.  The individual’s lifestyle and choices are examined to help identify problem areas that may jeopardize their home, school, work, or relationships.

Strategies are discussed and goals established to aid the individual going forward to minimize further compromise to his Quality of Life. The AODA assessment is followed by individual mentoring to review the individual’s progress.

Employment Assistance Program

My Brother’s Keeper has partnered with a group of manufacturers and employment agencies.  The Vision for My Brother’s Keeper participants is to connect with employers for immediate interviews and placement within a company. The program participants will attend a session that will include resume and interview skills training.  When an employment opportunity is available, the final decision to hire is determined by the employer. Continued employment is determined by the client’s performance or employer needs. My Brother’s Keeper employment program is monitored, and the progress is measured with an ongoing relationship with My Brother’s Keeper in weekly or biweekly mentoring sessions.

The impact of My Brother’s Keeper’s program extends well beyond the individuals served. For every life changed, there is also impact on the person’s family, friends, school and work associates, and the community at large.