The San Francisco-based Mitchell Kapor Foundation is honoring a group of young male African-American students from the Bay Area as they head off to college, reports the San Francisco BayView. The event, which is being held at 5:30 tonight at the Oakland Museum of California, is part of the foundation’s College Bound Brotherhood program, which aims to increase the numbers of young black men from the Bay Area who are prepared for a college education.

According to The California Department of Education, there has been a drop in the number of both male and female African American students graduating the San Francisco Unified School District who have completed the courses required for UC or CSU schools.

During the 2005-2006 school year, the number of CSU/UC-ready African American high school graduates peaked at 32.2 percent. But the numbers have been on the decline since then. In its latest figures, the California Department of Education reports that in 2008-2009, the number of African-American male students who graduated with UC/USC-required courses has fallen to 15.1 percent since its peak of 30.1 percent in 2006.

Despite these bleak numbers, the College Bound Brotherhood is attempting to change things.

Regina Jackson, executive director of the East Oakland Youth Development Center, told the San Francisco BayView that the Kapor Foundation strives to promote the importance of a college-bound culture.

“With high school ‘drop out’ and high jail and prison ‘drop in’ rates, a college-bound culture is more necessary than ever,” said Jackson. “The Kapor Foundation’s strategy to bolster that culture – by building connections, providing resources and celebrating achievements – is
working here in the Bay Area. Attend the upcoming graduation celebration and see the work in action.”