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Brothers Learn and Grow through Young Men’s Initiative
HeartShare St. Vincent’s Services’ After School and Community programs provide engaging after-school and summer opportunities that support academic advancement, promote career goals, expand recreational interests and develop stronger student ties with the local community. For brothers Dante, 14, and Marquis, 12, the Young Men’s Initiative (YMI) at Carey Gardens Cornerstone Program offers team-building and other skill-building activities. YMI also offers a forum to discuss career interests with mentors in different professions, including a teacher, chef, office administrator and web designer. During their two years of participating in YMI, Dante and Marquis have exemplified academic excellence, sportsmanship and leadership, including training to become future mentors. Today, Dante is an active member of the group and is open to sharing what he has learned with the other YMI participants. “The program helped me with most of my problems in school and now I’m doing a lot better,” said Dante, who wants to be a video game designer. Marquis, who used extra tutoring hours to turn mathematics into an academic strength, hopes to be a scientist. He also values the life lessons he has learned through his Carey Garden support system. “In school, you just want to fit in and act cool,” said Marquis, “but at YMI, you can express who you really are.”