Hispanic Heritage Month And Big Brother Big Sisters #LatinoBigs

 

Hey All!

I am beyond excited to announce that I’ve been chosen to represent a cause that is very dear to my hear. I’m now a Big Brothers Big Sisters Latino Recruitment Ambassador. I’ll be sharing with you the latest info on what it means to me to be a mentor to our youth and I’ll be sharing you the latest developments on the Latino Recruitment site Latino Bigs, which will launch on Monday, September 14, 2012!

The site encourages Latinos (like myself in particular) to mentor Latino youths. I know many of us growing up had many mentors in our lives ranging from family members to teachers to volunteers at after school programs.

I personally went to private school most of my life and never had anyone I could relate too as a mentor in my school. Sadly, I had teachers who were Brothers, Priests, and Nuns as my teachers in school and they weren’t really interested in mentoring a little girl with dreams of making cartoons and movies. I had to look else where for my mentors. I happily found them in my community, the Boys and Girls Club, the Big Brothers Big Sisters program and at my after school activities I did to keep myself engaged and learning. They kept me off the streets of the projects of where I grew up in New York. I would have never graduated from High School, Been able to raise a family, and graduate college if it weren’t for the mentors I had.

Mentors for our kids are more important than ever with High School drop at rates at an all time high. I’m doing my part to get the awareness out of the importance of being a mentor to a child or teen by joining this program.

If you’ve surprisingly never heard of the Big Brothers Big Sisters programs here is a little info on the program:

Children matched in Big Brothers Big Sisters programs maintain or improve in the three outcome areas which we hold ourselves accountable to—educational success, avoidance of risky behaviors and socio-emotional competency.  Progress in these areas is linked to longer-term outcomes, such as high school graduation, avoidance of juvenile delinquency, and job readiness.  Finally, 81% of adults who participated in our program as Littles say their Big Brother or Big Sister caused them to broaden their horizons – to change what they thought possible in life.  Imagine the possibilities for our youth.

About 20% of the children we serve are Hispanic – a number on the rise. Yet, only 9% of our Bigs are Latino.  Also, more than 70% of the children ready and waiting to be matched with a mentor are boys, yet only 3 of 10 volunteer inquiries come from men.

Our children need a boost in self-esteem and encouragement to believe in themselves that only an adult can give. Guidance and consejos can come in the form of sharing a personal story about the difficulties of algebra.  The bonds of friendship can be formed over a slice of pizza.  Latinos have a strong heritage of volunteering in their neighborhoods and places of worship.  Latinos can have a big impact now that will not only help one child but help an entire community – our community.

Being that it’s Hispanic Heritage Month, this is the perfect time for Hispanics to stand up and take the challenge of mentoring our youth! I am and I hope you will too!

You can start by making sure you join Latina Mom Bloggers and Big Brothers and Big Sisters on Wednesday, OCT 10  from 7- 8:00 pm ET for a Twitter CHAT! There will be lots of information regarding our Latino ‘littles’ and their need for ‘Big’ volunteers! Lets work together to support our youth, our future. Follow the hashtag #LatinoBigs as you will learn a lot about the program and how you can be a mentor!

For more more information about this amazing program or if you’re interested in volunteering check out www.bigbrothersbigsisters.org and  www.latinobigs.org.

Stay tuned for more form my participation in this amazing ambassadorship! I’m very thankful to be a part of it!


Disclosure: This is part of a supported campaign with Latina Mom Bloggers and Big Brothers Big Sisters.  However, all opinions expressed are my own.

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