LOS ANGELES — Recent statistics from the CDC show suicide rates among Black children, teens and young adults increased by 36% between 2018 and 2021. But research shows that children engaged in mentorship programs report significantly fewer symptoms of depression and social anxiety.

To help ensure the students of color who attend KIPP Empower Academy learn how to maintain their mental health, staff have launched two mentorship programs.

The RISE Mentorship is tailored to girls in third and fourth grades, teaching the students social-emotional and developmental skills. The Brotherhood Mentorship Program, for third- and fourth-grade boys of color, is modeled on the belief that having strong role models with similar backgrounds as their mentees can make all the difference.