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New ROC MBK Engagement Center is Now Open in City’s Downtown

Staff Report

Photo from https://www.rcsdk12.org/

The ROC MBK Engagement Center, an ambient multi-media lounge space was recently unveiled.

The new ROC My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) engagement center, located at 57 St. Paul St. Downtown, is a lounge space featuring colored LED lighting, Bluetooth speakers, gaming chairs, a Virtual Reality (VR) console and gaming stations for youth participants to safely enjoy. 

“The ROC MBK Engagement Center illustrates our continued commitment to investing in our youth to help them reach their full potential,” said Mayor Malik Evans. “With this Center, we have a place where young people can gather together and meet with mentors to talk about their personal growth, their goals and their futures.”

Mayor Evans was joined by City Council President Miguel Meléndez, Rochester City School District Superintendent Dr. Lesli Myers-Small, Department of Recreation and Human Services Commissioner Dr. Shirley Green and other community officials for a ribbon cutting ceremony.

“Through our collaboration with the Rochester City School District, we are working to close the gaps faced by young people of color. This is a critical component of our efforts to achieve a safe, equitable, and prosperous Rochester,” Evans said.

The space will also serve as a venue for monthly meetings for MBK participants and mentors to cover a wide range of topics that will move youth toward their fullest potential. 

“Our young men are so fortunate to have access to the valuable resources inside the MBK Engagement Center,” Superintendent Lesli Myers-Small said. “This will help them to stay connected and remain focused on their education. The Rochester City School District is fortunate to partner with the City of Rochester to provide multi-faceted programming that helps develop and enrich the lives of MBK participants.” 

ROC MBK was built on an initiative launched by President Barack Obama in 2014 with the goal to create opportunities for young men of color by connecting them to school based mentoring programs, support networks, job skills training, trade schools and colleges. 

Council President Meléndez said he is excited for the launching of the engagement center. “The ROC MBK Engagement Center will bring collaboration and resources together to support and develop our youth,” he said. 

“Creating a community engagement space for boys and young men of color in the heart of the city is critically important.” 

To learn about becoming a ROC MBK fellow or mentor, contact ROC MBK Coordinator George Warren at (585) 428-7938 or email ROCMBK@cityofrochester.gov or Tony Jordan at (585) 262-8362 or email Anthony.Jordan@rcsdk12.org