Minneapolis, MN – September 23, 2012 – MetLife Foundation presented Big Brothers Big Sisters with a grant of $500,000 to expand its work with young people among the country’s growing Hispanic population. The grant – MetLife Foundation’s fourth since 2008 – brings the total support for the Hispanic Mentoring Program to $2 million.
The presentation came during Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Twin Cities’ third annual Celebracion’de Amistad Health & Education Fair. The Twin Cities agency is one of 20 Big Brothers Big Sisters of America affiliates nationwide receiving MetLife Foundation funding to provide mentoring services to more than 22,000 Latino children, families and volunteers.
“Family engagement events like Celebracion’de Amistad are a part of Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Hispanic mentoring service,” said Big Brothers Big Sisters of America Chief Diversity Officer Hector Cortez. “MetLife Foundation funding enables our local agencies to engage Hispanic mentees’ families in programs that promote high-school graduation and college. In addition, the grants fund training sessions, communications strategies, and tools that enable our staff to overcome language and cultural barriers to provide safe, long-term outcomes-based, professionally supported mentoring services to Latino children, families and volunteers.”
Today, nearly 20 percent of the children served by the national mentoring network are Hispanic, an increase from 14 percent in 2008. Big Brothers Big Sisters developed its Hispanic Mentoring Program using qualitative research about how Latinos view mentoring and volunteering in the context of family and culture.
“Mentoring programs between children and adult role models are a vital part of a young person’s development,” said Dennis White, president and CEO of MetLife Foundation. “MetLife Foundation is proud of our partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters. The Hispanic Mentoring Program not only benefits children across the country, but helps engage parents and the community in their education and development.”
Children enrolled in Big Brothers Big Sisters face many forms of adversity, including growing up in low income and/or single parent families; having an incarcerated parent; or having a parent in the military. Independent research finds when compared to children from similar backgrounds, Big Brothers Big Sisters mentees improve in school; make healthier choices and have higher self-esteem and aspirations.
About MetLife Foundation
MetLife Foundation was established in 1976 to continue MetLife’s longstanding tradition of corporate contributions and community involvement. The Foundation’s commitment to building a secure future for individuals and communities worldwide is reflected in its dedication to empowering older adults, preparing young people and building livable communities. Since it was established, MetLife Foundation has provided more than $530 million in grants and $70 million in program-related investments to nonprofit organizations addressing issues that have a positive impact in their communities. For more information visit www.metlife.org
About Big Brothers Big Sisters
Big Brothers Big Sisters, the nation’s largest donor and volunteer supported mentoring network, holds itself accountable for children in its program to achieve measurable outcomes, such as educational success; avoidance of risky behaviors; and higher aspirations, greater confidence and better relationships. Partnering with parents/guardians, schools, corporations and others in the community, Big Brothers Big Sisters carefully pairs children (“Littles”) with screened volunteer mentors (“Bigs”) and monitors and supports these one-to-one mentoring matches throughout their course. The first-ever Big Brothers Big Sisters Youth Outcomes Summary, released in 2012, substantiates that its mentoring programs have proven, positive academic, socio-emotional and behavioral outcomes for youth, areas linked to high school graduation, avoidance of juvenile delinquency and college or job readiness.
Big Brothers Big Sisters provides children facing adversity, often those of single or low-income households or families where a parent is incarcerated or serving in the military, with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one mentoring relationships that change their lives for the better, forever. This mission has been the cornerstone of the organization’s 100-year history. With about 350 agencies across the country, Big Brothers Big Sisters serves nearly 630,000 children, volunteers and families. Learn how you can positively impact a child’s life, donate or volunteer at BigBrothersBigSisters.org or LatinoBigs.org.