young men's initiative

 Young Men's Association  |  Brother 2 Brother Mentoring  |  Staring at Our Futures


The mission for the Young Men's Initiative at the Urban Assembly School for Law & Justice is to create and foster a positive sense of self, increase school engagement and improve academic performance among our young men.

To accomplish our mission, we have created a series of programs. Some include The Young Men’s Association, a young men’s empowerment group; Staring at our Futures: Conversations with Successful Men of Color, a brown bag speaker series;Brother2Brother, and a mentoring program which pairs students with professional males of color. YMI also sponsors intramural athletic competitions and a tutoring program.

We believe that the YMI's programs will provide our young men with the tools to succeed in high school, graduate from college and, most importantly, successfully transition into manhood.




The Young Men’s Association

The Young Men's Association (YMA) is an after school empowerment group. Its goal is to strengthen academic and leadership skills and provide a forum for strong male community in our school. YMA meets weekly for discussions, guest lectures, workshops, and trips. Brother 2 Brother: Young Men's Mentoring at SLJ

Brother 2 Brother: Young Men's Mentoring at SLJ

The Value of Mentoring

Boys involved in a mentoring program benefit from an improved self concept, and are considerably less likely to use alcohol and drugs. Positive interactions with Black male role models are correlated with success in high school and boys involved in mentoring programs are far more likely to go to college than their counterparts.

Brother 2 Brother: Program Goals & Commitment

In light of the staggering statistics about the struggles faced by Black and Latino males in New York City, the Young Men's Association seeks to create a mentoring program which aims to:

  • facilitate self-awareness
  • provide male mentorship relationships with positive role models
  • enhance student self-esteem
  • enhance student goal-setting skills
  • foster cooperative learning and teamwork
  • assist with development of effective problem-solving & conflict resolution skills
  • provide academic support

 Mentors are asked to commit to:

  • meeting with their mentee twice monthly; once per month on a Monday evening at Cravath, Swaine & Moore with the entire Young Men's Association Mentoring Program and once per month outside of the whole group meeting time
  • submitting monthly Mentoring Activity Logs due at the monthly evening meeting
  • participating in the program for a minimum of one year, and missing no more than 2 mentoring days over the course of a year

How to become a mentor:

  • attend an info session
  • complete a program application and attend a preliminary 20-minute interview with an SLJ staff member
  • attend a 2-hour training prior to beginning the mentoring program
  • complete a fingerprinting, screening and reference check

Who are the mentors?

The mentors are a diverse range of inspiring professionals who are very excited about working with SLJ's young men. Most of the mentors are in their 20s and 30s. They work in a wide range of fields, including law, medicine, college admissions, and finance. They also have a lot of different hobbies, including screen writing, listening to hip hop, playing video games, debating, hiking, singing, and martial arts. Trust us – the mentors are pretty great.

How do I sign up?

Once you sign up for the YMA, you must complete a short application, get some permission slips signed, and sign a contract. Contact Mr. Jason Hunter ( to get started.

Staring at Our Futures: Conversations with Successful Men of Color

SLJ has created a monthly speaker series through which successful men of color share their professional and personal journey with our young men. Guest speakers have included a diverse array of notable professionals, from sociologists to lawyers, financial consultants, social workers and athletic coaches.