About Us


UMOJA Network for Young Men, is a not for profit (501c3) organization that focuses on developing young men holistically.  UMOJA is the Swahili word for “unity”. This name was chosen because it embodies our mission to “Live with Purpose, Learn with Morals and Lead with Integrity.”

Since its inception, UMOJA has enlarged its vision. In the beginning the focus was over-aged, under credited transfer school boys and has now been expanded to middle school and traditional high school boys ages 10 -21.


UMOJA Network for Young Men, Incorporated (formerly UMOJA Mentoring for Young Men)began in the fall of 2004 at the Forsyth Street Campus of Satellite Academy High School in New York City. Erik Nolan, the founder and mentor of UMOJA started the group with 11 young men. This initiative was inspired by former site director, the late  Dr. Sarah Blos, who along with her staff recognized the dire need to support some of the young men in that learning community. 

These young men, who were predominantly Black (of African American, Caribbean and African decent) and Latino, had experienced challenges in their academic and home lives.


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