Getting engaged with themselves and their community

BOOM Group Photo (KOMO News)

BELLEVUE - A local school district will attempt to inspire it's minority students during a day-long event today.

“Our percentages and populations of black and brown students in particular are smaller,” says Shomari Jones with the Bellevue School District. “And we’re trying to put forth efforts to ensure they feel connected to each other and to the system.”

So today, for the third straight year, they're presenting something called BOOM. It’s an acronym for “Breaking Out Of the Margin,” and it’s a day where 300 male high students are taught about potential, community, and being an exception. The event is being held at Bellevue College.

Jones tells KOMO News the day-long gathering, featuring guest speakers and mentors, satisfies “Their need for positive and productive examples of adult professionals who look like them.” It also may keep these kids in school at a time graduation rates among minorities remain low.

He says this and other programs like it work, and these students who might end up marginalized are being positively engaged. The feedback from last year was encouraging.

“We got word back from several of our mentors that the students most certainly followed through with staying in contact with these facilitators and/or potential mentors.”

A similar event for girls will be held early next year. It’s called “SHOUT.” (Click the picture above to hear the audio).

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