Health People’s Kids-Helping-Kids
Peer Mentoring Program

Health People’s Tarik Carr, NYC Mentoring Partnership
Mentor of the Year, with fellow mentor Jordan Nixon and mentee Robert Barrett

Twenty-three year old Tarik Carr, lead mentor at Health People’s Kids-Helping-Kids Peer Mentoring Program, has been named a 2015 Mentor of the Year by the Mentoring Partnership of New York & Long Island (MPNY&LI). The annual award recognizes the time, talent and energy that an individual has put into his/her relationships mentoring New York City’s Youth.

At the age of 14, Tarik was moved to help other kids by his own mother’s death to cancer. Tarik has spent nearly a decade as a mentor in the groundbreaking South Bronx program that trains older kids and young adults with sick, missing or deceased parents to mentor younger kids facing similar, difficult situations

Tarik was honored at MYNY&LI’s annual Mentor’s Night Out awards ceremony on July 17 at the Bowery Hotel. The event was generously underwritten by Allan Schwartz, Executive Chairman of Guggenheim Partners.

The extraordinary honor marks the first time the MPNY&LI has selected a young person representing a “peer” mentoring program, where kids mentor one another, for a Mentor of the Year Award. Health People originally started the Kids-Helping-Kids at the height of the AIDS epidemic to provide desperately needed mentoring for kids whose parents were sick or dying. In the years since, Health People has expanded the Kids-Helping-Kids model to provide peer mentoring for a range of kids whose parents can’t always be with them; about one-third of the youth in this unique program are in foster care.

“We are enormously grateful to the Mentoring Partnership of New York & Long Island for recognizing the importance of our mentoring model,” said Chris Norwood, Executive Director of Health People, currently celebrating its 25th anniversary. “We think that kids in low-income communities have so much to offer. They certainly understand the problems of other kids---and we only hope that more of them will receive a chance to show how great they are at mentoring even – and especially -- in the toughest situations!”

“Through peer mentoring, Health People continually reinvests in the community, providing guidance for vulnerable mentees while teaching valuable leadership skills to the mentors,” commented Bruce Beckwith, Executive Director of the MPNY&LI.

Tarik is currently a mentor to 13-year-old Robert whose mother has AIDS. While Robert’s mother is well now, it is natural that he worries about her. Based on his own experience, Tarik is able to understand Robert’s concerns, reassure him, and help him to keep focused on his school work even through family sickness.

“Being a mentor means everything to me,” said Tarik. “After my mother’s death, I thought I lost everything, but being a mentor shows me I can be a leader, brother and a teacher. It’s a huge achievement for me to be a Mentor of the Year. I never thought something like that would happen to me.”

For Robert, Tarik’s mentee, having Tarik there means “I can talk to him about anything and that will be between us. I can discuss what I want and I learn lessons every day.”


The Mentoring Partnership of New York (MPNY) is an affiliate of the national organization, MENTOR and was established in 1992. MPNY links individuals, organizations and communities to existing mentoring programs and the young people they serve. Its mission is to be an advocate for the expansion of quality mentoring opportunities for New York City youth and a resource for mentors and mentoring initiatives citywide. MPNY is a not-for-profit organization under section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal ID# 52-1674088. For more information on mentoring, please visit The Mentoring Partnership of New York at www.mentoring.org/newyork or call 1-800-83-YOUTH.

About Health People

Health People is a groundbreaking peer education, prevention and support organization in the South Bronx whose mission is to train and empower residents of communities overwhelmed by chronic disease and AIDS to become leaders and educators in effectively preventing ill health, hospitalization, and unnecessary death.

Established in 1990 as a women’s AIDS prevention and support program, Health People has grown, using its peer-education model, to provide a full range of HIV/AIDS services for men, women and families. It also has conducted community asthma programs, New York’s first diabetes peer-educators program, and a community smoking cessation program. Health People’s Junior Peer program, Kids-Helping-Kids includes teens who are mentors for younger children with sick or missing parents.

For more information, please visit www.healthpeople.org.

Photo Courtesy Of: Sunny Norton/Health People