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Published On: Mon, Sep 24th, 2012

Be The Change You Want To Be In The World…Mentor Someone Today!

latino bigs

Join The Movement!

“Mentors are like maps when your lost, instructions before a task, a flashlight in the dark… with their time and a little heart, they lead you to a place in which you can build a path out of the darkness and into a bright future.”

– George “Urban Jibaro” Torres / Fuerza Latina Keynote, Albany NY -2008

When we talk about uplifting our community, what is it that we really want?

We want a community of self determined people that are educated, will effect change and will teach the next generation to reach higher, achieve more and build a legacy. This is what I hear daily from educators, community leaders and parents as they discuss how society has changed. They talk about how kids today do not understand our struggles, our history and that they are not capable of leading the next generation into what we want. How can we expect them to lead when they have not been led?

Instead, although well intended,  these same community leaders run programs to fix problems after they happen. Look around the neighborhood I live in, and you will find programs to help you fight alcohol and drug problems, there are programs for teenage moms, there are programs to help you survive through being underemployed. These are real problems that have sidelined the brightest minds, who for one reason or another, just did not have the guidance to break through the adversity.

These programs are needed, the statistics prove that… but my grandmother Gloria Delrio taught me… that when you have a problem, you have to find what the root cause is. In my opinion, the root cause of many of our community’s ills is the same, there is a lack of investment in our kids. we need to promote mentorship in our community.

Then we have the dreamers… the kids like me who made it because someone believed in our potential… the people willing to do something to help others NOT make the mistakes we may have made growing up, people who care enough to pay it forward and mentor someone. Those are the people I want to introduce to you today.  I am proud to say that the Big Brothers Big Sisters’  LatinoBigs initiative represents the shift we need to make in our community for our youth, so therefore I am taking on the role of ambassador for Latino recruitment initiative and joining many other influentials in our community who support them.

This is our time to give back and really increase the resolution of the big picture for kids who desperately need mentorship to succeed.

What Big Brothers Big Sisters Does

We change lives. Compared to children not in our program, our Littles are LESS likely to:

  • Skip school
  • Use drugs
  • Begin drinking alcohol
  • Hit someone

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.

Why Latino Bigs are so Important
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.

 

If not us, who?  If not now, when?  Volunteer Now.

 

Want To Connect with Latino Bigs Socially? Join the Chat

In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month we will also be hosting a Twitter chat on October 10, 2012  to discuss the importance of mentorship among the Latino community.  Please  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

For more information, visit www.LatinoBigs.org

 

Our kids need YOU… please help us spread the word to people like you who care about our youth. Please share this post using the social media buttons located on the top right of this page… our littles appreciate it.

 

This post is dedicated to one of my greatest mentors, the late Richie Perez, que en paz descanse.

 

Gracias…

George Torres
The Urban Jibaro

Cultivando Cultura since 1997…
Social Media | Branding | Event Management
 
Follow me on Twitter… @UrbanJibaro
 
 

This is part of a supported campaign with Sofrito Media GroupLatina Mom Bloggers and Big Brothers Big Sisters.  However, all opinions expressed are certainly my own.

 

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Be The Change You Want To Be In The World…Mentor Someone Today!