Brothers Rise Up (BRU)

  • Brothers Rise Up (BRU) was established by Mr. Jim Cook to support male students (grades 3-8) as they become leaders.  A young man is nominated by his school staff for this multi-year experience that provides ongoing support throughout their years in the District. The students are chiefly African-American males; however, Hispanic/Latino students and students of two or more races are also members. BRU offers lessons based on character development, social skills, leadership, academic excellence, and career development. 

    In 2018, Mr. Cook, a dean’s assistant at Kenyon Woods Middle School, introduced BRU at the school. With requests from other U-46 schools in the 2019/2020 school year, he connected with 115 students in eleven schools.  A total of 157 students in 22 schools participated in the 2020/2021 school year. Currently, there are 317 students in 29 schools benefiting from the BRU experience. Brothers Rise Up now includes high schoolers and focuses on preparing them to be college and career ready. As our young men matriculate through each grade, they will be girded with positivity, encouragement, resources, care, and love until they graduate. 

    The students meet at their respective school as a group (of up to ten) once a week for approximately 30 minutes during the school day. Groups are facilitated by Mr. Cook, a Champion of Character Leader, at elementary schools. We now have a Champion of Character Leader at the middle school and high school levels. In addition to their Champion of Character Leader, the young men hear from guest speakers. They also take trips to colleges and universities and volunteer for community service projects. BRU provides many opportunities to develop relationships with other students, meet adult role models, and share experiences outside of school that keep them focused on becoming leaders. The summer of 2024 will be the fourth year of extending this experience into an all-day event!  

    To learn more specific details about the adventures of the young men of BRU, read the Brothers Rise Up Newsletters.

    For more information, please contact Jim Cook,