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Although a recent study reports that Black male students in California’s Bay Area have a graduation rate of 45 percent, slight gains are being made in the city of Oakland.

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One school that is starting the tradition of excellence early is the 100 Black Men Community School, an all-male facility that is looking to help their students combat drop out rates, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

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The Bay Area chapter of the national 100 Black Men organization erected and financially backs the school, which is open to all male students. The school’s emphasis is on providing a platform for the underserviced needs of Black boys in the region.

“We know our children can perform as well as any other children,” shared Dr. Mark Alexander, an epidemiologist who also serves as chairman of the board for the Oakland chapter of 100 Black Men. “We’re going to create a culture that hopefully will be stronger than the streets.”

With less than half of African American males earning a high school diploma, the 100 Black Men Community School faces a daunting task but one they’re confident they can accomplish. The 100 Black Men group credits their natural connection with the boys as the pathway to grooming the students for future success–a connection Black students sorely lack in many public schools across the region and other parts of the country.

“We don’t have that problem,” said Derrick Bulles of the Oakland 100 Black Men chapter. “They’re our boys. We are best able to manage that.”

Kudos to the 100 Black Men and the staff of the 100 Black Men Community School.

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