My Brother’s Keeper director ready to take program to new heights

ORLANDO, Fla. — When Abraham Morris took over as director of the My Brother’s Keeper program in August, he came with a plan.

“I really believe that there’s no better feeling providing hope to youth and families and to give them the necessary resources to be successful,” Morris said.

The national initiative created by President Barack Obama was designed to address persistent opportunity gaps faced by young men of color.

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For single mom Janet Aleman-Barrios, teaching her sons how to grow from boys to men has been tough.

“It is definitely challenging and I think you don’t realize how challenging it is till they actually hit middle school,” she said.

Aleman-Barrios said that since her sons joined the program, she’s seen a difference, especially in her 13-year-old son, who has dreams of being an engineer.

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“The brotherhood that he is in actually helps him. It gives him a sense of confidence,” she said.

Morris said he wants to expand the program to more schools and even older groups.

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“If we can create more opportunities where we can see individuals who look like us come from similar backgrounds that they can aspire to be that as well,” Morris said.

Currently, the My Brother’s Keeper program is in four Orange County middle schools and last year, it helped 150 young men.

More information on My Brother’s Keeper can be found here.

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Karen Parks

Karen Parks, WFTV.com

Karen Parks is a reporter at WFTV.

Matt Reeser

Matt Reeser, WFTV.com

Matt Reeser joined WFTV in 1998 as a news photographer and has worked for television stations in Kentucky and West Virginia.