Students at Brown Middle School spent time this week with Susan L. Taylor, founder and CEO of the National CARES Mentoring Movement and former editor-in-chief of Essence magazine. Taylor’s organization, National CARES Mentoring Movement, announced the launch of a pilot program for 40 of the school’s sixth grade students, all of whom have been selected to participate in the mentoring program. “Mentoring is all about caring,” said Taylor. “It’s caring enough to commit just one hour a week to advise and help guide a vulnerable young person. None of the forces claiming our children’s lives are more powerful than our commitment and love. We are the solution.” The National CARES Mentoring Movement is a community-engagement effort committed to closing the gap between the relatively few mentors and the many children in need of mentoring support. Working through a growing national network of nearly 60 CARES Mentor-Recruitment Affiliates, CARES has recruited thousands of mentors who are serving more than 125,000 children. The National CARES Mentoring Movement joined forces with the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO) and the presidents of six Historically Black Colleges and Universities to pilot an innovative, multi-layered mentoring initiative called The Rising. The initiative elevates literacy, STEM compentancies, character building and self-efficacy and instills a passion for learning among challenged readers in primarily under-resourced, predominantly Black schools that neighbor HBCU campuses. The Rising’s distinctive components include an engaging curriculum that uses cultural and intellectual works of African-Americans to teach core STEM disciplines and increase literacy. Students at Brown Middle will also be provided with interactive instruction that allows them to learn through doing by using their STEM skills. Additionally, the program will connect the CARES students at Brown Middle School to college students who are mentors and role models. Click here for more information about The National CARES Mentoring Movement or to learn how you can serve as a mentor.