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Gun Violence Prevention: Mentorship Programs for Philly Youth

Mar 04, 2022 12:00PM ● By Nana Ama Addo

( Photo by Mikhail Nilov from Pexels )

Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love, continues to struggle with a devastating gun violence crisis. So far this year, there have been over 80 homicides and more than 330 shootings victims, with over 74% of the fatalities being Black, 50% of the victims being between the ages of 18 to 30, and 86% of victims being male. To provide Philadelphia communities with positive outlets for youth, specifically young men, with the hope of aiding in lessening this gun violence trend, we have collected a list of mentorship programs for Philadelphia youth.

( Image by Greta Hoffman via Pexels )

ManUpPHL is a non-profit organization that provides youth between the ages of 18 and 35 with mentoring, accountability, resources, and consistency to reduce gun violence perpetrators and victims in Philadelphia. The organization connects mentees to mentors that provide support in employment, criminal justice, education, family, fatherhood, and financial literacy sectors.

Last year, through their ‘Listening to the Streets’ initiative, ManUpPHL produced a gun violence study and report that discovered factors that contribute to gun violence in Philadelphia include trauma, relationships, self-worth, family influence, communal limitations, real-time engagement, communications, and formal education.  

Participants of the study also concluded that gun violence reduction may be catalyzed by job creation, education experiences, partnerships with formerly incarcerated people and communities, mental health support in areas prone to gun violence, and more resource connecting initiatives for communities involved in gun violence.

Learn more about connecting with ManUpPHL’s resources.


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iSTEM Mentoring is a project in collaboration with the North Philly Project (NPP) and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). This program provides youth with STEM courses, including robotics, science, math, engineering, and coding, along with practical leadership skills that build confidence, and goal attaining strategies. Learn about becoming a member here.

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100 Black Men Philadelphia (100 BMP), chartered in 1991, is a non-profit organization that hosts programs focused on the ‘Four of the Future’: mentoring, education, health & wellness, and economic development. 100 Black Men is a national organization, created in 1963, with more than 9 chapters.

100 Black Men Philadelphia hosts a variety of programs, including Manhood 101 (an abundant life mentoring program), Leadership Academy (for young men from 2nd to 12th grade), Parent Academy, African American History Challenge, College Scholars to Interns Program (preparation training workshops & paid internships), Pathways to Success - Young CEO (multiple programs and competitions), C-100 Collegiate 100 (on-campus chapters at Cheyney University and Lincoln University), education (various programs), health & wellness (various dates and locations), Chess Program (Saturday sessions, bi-weekly) and a mentoring program (ongoing - every 1st and 3rd Saturday).

Learn more about enrolling in a youth program, or becoming a chapter member or volunteer here.

 ( Image by Katerina Holmes via Pexels )

Minds Matter Philadelphia is a free mentoring program, geared towards high school students, that provides math, writing, critical thinking, and standardized test preparation through a 160-hour-long, 4-year program. This program, which offers students 2 college-educated mentors and 2 summer programs at prestigious colleges at no cost, has helped coach students who have been accepted into schools like the University of Pennsylvania, Georgetown University, University of Notre Dame, and more.

The Minds Matter Philadelphia programs run on Saturdays, September through April for sophomores, and from January to April for freshmen. Students must have a GPA of 3.0 to attend.

Learn more about how to apply here

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Philadelphia Futures, founded in 1989, is a non-profit that assists low-income students with post-secondary educational attainment resources. Their initiatives include the “Sponsor-A-Scholar Program”, “College Connection Program”, “College Success Program”, Special Initiatives, Ellis Trust, and Parents & Guardians. Learn how to apply for a student program here

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( Photo by Yan Krukov from Pexels )

The New Options More Opportunities (NoMo) Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides youth with early intervention and prevention strategies for gun violence, including paid youth training opportunities and education on topics like financial literacy, occupational skills training, bullying, hygiene, physical education, and substance abuse. The organization has locations in North, South, and Southwest Philadelphia.

Some of NoMo’s programs include the Remote Workforce Development Program, After School Program, Summer Camp Program, Mentoring/Advocacy Program, and F.A.C.T. (Families and Children Together) Program.  

Learn more about the NoMo Foundation’s work here

Do you know of a mentorship program in Philadelphia? Comment below!

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Works Cited

This article is made in collaboration with Broke in Philly, and is part of The Toll: The Roots and Costs of Gun Violence in Philadelphia series.


 Nana Ama Addo is a writer, multimedia strategist, film director, and storytelling artist. She graduated with a BA in Africana Studies from the College of Wooster, and has studied at the University of Ghana and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. Nana Ama tells stories of entrepreneurship and Ghana repatriation at her brand, Asiedua’s Imprint ). 

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