Mentoring Programs for At-Risk Youth

Angeles Echols-Brown

Angeles Echols-Brown


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More than college prep, EYM mentoring programs change lives

Educating Young Minds outshines other mentoring programs through its tutoring services providing college prep for at-risk youth in Los Angeles. Since the ’60s and the Civil Rights movement, there’s been a great deal of talk, but not a lot of meaningful action when it comes to providing mentoring programs or tutoring services that create equal opportunity in education for minorities, children of color, and at-risk youth.

How do children, many of whom have little family support structure, break free from generations of poverty, find encouragement, guidance, inspiration, and the knowledge that can open doors to a life beyond their wildest dreams? EYM’s mentoring programs for at-risk youth have produced unparalleled results in the lives of at-risk youth. 85% of kids participating in EYM mentoring programs have gone on to graduate from 4-year colleges and universities. Cheryl sat down with found Angeles Echols to learn more.

Angeles Echols-Brown, a graduate of Cornell University, and a community leader began her career as a teacher in Los Angeles, CA. Angeles is known and respected by the Mayor, the Chief of Police as a community leader. Angeles is beloved and adored by thousands of kids whose lives she has helped transform. Educating Young Minds has transformed the lives of over 4000 children through education, inspiration, love, mentoring, encouragement, fostering dreams. 82% of EYM graduates have gone on to graduate from four-year universities, including Ivy League schools.

What can Angeles and EYM teach our leaders, and our educators about action, instead of talk without change that has plagued the education of our kids for generations?

Highlights from Part 1

  • Tutoring two kids turned into an apartment full of kids studying in the bathroom, on the balcony.  The kids and parents who took up a collection to buy Angeles’ a ticket home to Memphis for Christmas, lead to a seat next to a gentleman, who would later knock-on Angeles’ door and deliver a check, and burgers from McDonald’s for the kids, and EYM was born.
  • By listening to kids, Angeles learned what was going on in our communities, how the kids were hurt, their strengths, their weaknesses, and how family problems, or no family at all affected them academically and emotionally.
  • Kids are looking for guidance. They want to be inspired and encouraged. Many of them aren’t having those conversations at home to move them.
  • There are thousands of jobs and career paths available to young people but children of color and disadvantaged children are not accessing that knowledge or the path to prepare for those because the conversations are not being held in their homes because the parents don’t have that information.
  • Angeles urges all the school counselors out there to stop telling kids what they cannot do. When it comes to education, our kids must learn and they can compete. These children can compete. They are very bright. They’re very smart, but we must give them opportunities and we must encourage them.
  • Guiding children to make better choices for themselves means sharing the consequences of a bad choice. “Let me give it to you without labeling you, let me give it to you where you can still feel uplifted and that you are part of the society and that you can still contribute to it. Let me give you this information so that you can receive it because that’s, what’s important.
  • But we have to keep moving forward because when we reach back trying to hit a man on his head, you know, the energy this cost? When I’m swinging back here, it keeps me from doing what? Coming forward.
Photo: L.A. Weekly

More About Angeles Echols-Brown and the Mentoring Program at Educating Young Minds

What began as an after-school tutoring program for a couple of kids in Angeles Echols’ one-room apartment over thirty years ago has become the most successful program of its kind anywhere. EYM has 23 teachers that work tirelessly to encourage kids, inspire them to dream, and believe they can build a better life for themselves and their communities.

Educating Young Minds is a non-profit which operates solely upon the donations of it supporters including individuals.  Learn more about how you can help, or how the EYM on line All Access program could change the lives of kids in your community.

Listen to Part 2 – Tutoring Services that Changes Kids’ Lives