HELPIS is pleased to announce King Branch as its newest recipient of the Month of May Kindness Scholarship. He is a Freshman at Salem State University. We can't wait to see what amazing things he will accomplish!
King Branch started his Brockton YMCA story as an 8th grader at North Middle School in 2012.
He was nominated to be a Summer Leader in our first pilot cohort of this amazing program. Leaders receive two weeks of training in mentoring, child safety, Developmental Assets, Behavior Management, etc. and then are asked to step up and be role models in our community and in our summer camps.
King fully took on the meaning of “stepping up” and began to embrace his role as a mentor and positive caring support in the lives of our campers
After his first summer with the Y, he was hooked and joined our Kidz Konnect Advisory Council.
He helped create a video to change people’s perceptions and the negative stereotypes of youth in Brockton.
He designed art workshops to host for other teens to embrace the power of youth voice.
After participating in Summer Leaders, King knew he wanted to continue to be a role model for younger children and he did this in several ways. With the help of fellow Kidz Konnect members, he designed an anti-bullying workshop which they ran several times at Youth Division, and has since been used by others in the Y at our child care sites. He also has been employed as a Camp Counselor at Yomechas for the past 2 summers.
In his Junior year of High School, after attending the Y’s Youth Conference for several years, he decided he wanted to play a bigger role In planning the event. He was given the opportunity to create an art installation and asked for local community organizations and child care programs to engage their youth in creating art pieces that represent their community. He then collected these pieces to be placed on a giant mobile mural that was on display at the Youth Conference and then in the lobby at Central.
In his Senior year, King continued to stay involved with the Y and took on a new role within the community at the Brockton’s Promise Caring Adults Mentor Rally. This event is co-chaired by a Y staff member and King was nominated to be the emcee along with another prominent Brockton community member, Kenny Monteiro. At the conclusion of the event, King made a powerful “Call to Action” about why people need to step up to be mentors. With an audience of over 350 people, he spoke genuinely and charismatically, and we are pleased to say we got more mentor inquiries than any event in years past.
Throughout his time at the Y, King has always made it his motto to make it “about the kids.” Whether it’s co-hosting an event, running workshops, providing a unique outlet through art, or just being there for a child, he is someone who just gets it. And it all started in 8th grade. King is now in his freshman year at Salem State University and we are excited to see what amazing things he will do next!
King's Speech as an Emcee at Brockton's Mentor Rally in 2016
I have mentors to pull me back on the correct path so I can say “Here I am” while up on this stage explaining to you why mentoring is so important in these young kids lives. I hope to be able to say “Here I am” next year in college class all by myself with the right state of mind and drive to excel and make that Dean’s list. I want to be able to say “Here I am” after I become a child/ family social worker and help hundreds of kids and their families so they can get back on the right path. Here I am when I am co-CEO of a retail franchise that sponsors local artistry around the world and acts as that first step to their success. Lastly “here I am” when I complete the cycle and find my own mentee to watch, grow, and provide them with my wisdom from adulthood experiences and sit on the sidelines and witness their evolution. Ladies and Gentlemen tonight is about thanking those who mentor your children and also, tonight is about encouraging each and every one of you. It does not matter how old you are, each and every one of us has a story to tell to mentor a young individual and watch as they evolve and start their own cycle. I am your co-host King Branch representing both Kidz Konnect and Fam for Change and also Noube Productions. “Here I am” wishing y’all a great evening, good night.