It’s Hispanic Heritage Month– a special time to drive support for Latino youth- Adults mentors VAMOS!!
It’s great when your life comes full circle in a positive way. When I started my career in Public Relations I interned at a Miami agency whose non-profit client was Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and I was able to see first-hand the terrific, life-changing work this organization produces. Actually, one of my first dates with then boyfriend- now husband of 17 years Sr. Kish- was working together for a BB/BS volunteer rally in Miami!
Big Brothers Big Sisters matches adult volunteer mentors (Bigs) with children, (Littles). Latino youth need our help more than ever considering only seven in ten students in the United States actually finish high school. This statistic drops to six in ten among Hispanic, African-American and Native American students. Also, many of our Latino Littles come from immigrant families and are adjusting to the nuances of a new culture. And, like all young people, they face the lure of dangerous influences such as gangs and the temptation of drugs. Los padres may not be aware of these dangers and could use a positive influence in the life of their child to help steer them on the right track.
About 20% of the children served by BB/BS are Latino – a number quickly increasing. Yet, only 9% of the organization’s Bigs are Latino. OYE ALL YOU HOMBRES OUT THERE… while more than 70% of the children ready and waiting to be matched with a mentor are boys, only 3 of 10 volunteer inquiries come from men. Come on, stop watching football or fútbol on the weekend and volunteer in your community instead!
I firmly believe in mentoring. I am blessed to have learned from fantastic mentors throughout my life- as a young girl, teen and early in my professional career. I’ll tell you more about them in my next post. But today I focus on mentoring young girls by way of a variety of community volunteer positions as well as a mother of tween twins. I’ll share my journey with you as I urge you to encourage someone you know, or volunteer yourself, as a MUCHO needed adult Big from a Latino or multicultural, multilingual background. I want to make Hispanic Heritage Month 2012 be not only about celebrating our cultures, more so about helping our youth celebrate education and personal achievement. It is our turn to give back to the Latino community- our youth is our future and everyone needs help to achieve our shared American dream. Ayudanos!!
Be sure and visit the BB/BS Facebook page and YouTube channel for plenty of information regarding volunteering as a Big in your community: http://www.youtube.com/BBBSofAmerica. Share your ideas with us on the LosTweens & Teens Facebook page as well – this is so important to us!
Cristy is the founder and publisher of Los Tweens & Teens, as well as the co-CEO & partner of DiMe Media, based in Miami. Born to Cuban parents, she’s a ‘Jersey Girl’ who is the proud mom of twin teens and wife to her college sweetheart, a “gringo” with a Latino soul! Cristy is also a teen cancer survivor, lover of travel, tech, good food, all-things beauty related, family cooking and social sharing.