In 2014, President Obama issued a challenge to communities to become ‘My Brother’s Keeper’ communities. MBK is an initiative launched by the Obama administration to invest in the lives of young people – particularly young men of color – to help keep them on track to a better future. In 2015, San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor put together a task force to develop and execute a strategy under the My Brother’s Keeper call to action by President Obama.
As part of that strategy, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas has partnered with Texas A&M University-San Antonio and the San Antonio Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission. Toyota will offer one full ride scholarship to a young man of color to be a teacher in his community and one full ride scholarship supporting the MLK, Jr. Commission.
Why is this important?
We know that young men of color lack role models and mentors in the school environment.
Providing these scholarships to boys and men of color, including African American, Hispanic, Native American, and all non-white males, helps them reach their full potential regardless of life’s circumstances. And these young men can become the teachers and role models to the next generation of boys of color.
According to Mario Lozoya, director of government relations for Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas, after studying the metric of mentors and role models for boys of color, Toyota understands the importance of having these role models in the classroom. This is potentially the beginning of a process that will bridge that gap.
Last week, Lozoya, Texas A&M San Antonio’s Dr. Cynthia Teniente-Matson, the MLK, Jr. Commission’s Brandon Logan, My Brother’s Keeper’s Dr. Mike Etienne and Councilman Alan Warrick, along with the Promise Zone and St. Phillip’s College, came together to speak about progressing education in San Antonio through providing resources and opportunities for deserving students and future students.
This is another positive step that TMMT is taking to invest in the very community where they live and operate. Toyota is already known for supporting STEM education in our community and I, for one, am glad to see the steps taken to bridge gaps for mentors for young men of color.
For more information on how to apply for the scholarship, visit the Texas A & M University – San Antonio Scholarship web page.