This Hispanic Heritage Month, Big Brothers Big Sisters is
honored to introduce you to some Hispanic champions of mentoring or “Big
Campeones.” Today, we say hello to
Michael Centeno, Vice President of Transamerica. Michael grew up in Huntington
Park, California and was surrounded by the love and support of his family and
mentors.His godfather, Paul, is credited
as his most important mentor, who encouraged him to pursue higher education.
“Paul left us too soon, but he left behind his spirit to
move forward and help those less fortunate,” Michael said.
Michael continues to honor his late mentor by giving back to
his community as a Big Brother, board member and corporate partner for Big
Brothers Big Sisters, but unfortunately Michael is a rarity.More Hispanic male mentors are desperately
needed.Tens of thousands of Hispanic
boys are waiting for a Big Brother.
Michael gives his time, guidance and expertise to his Little
Brother Miguel, but he is also raising three kids of his own. He has watched
Miguel grow from a shy young boy into a man over the course of their match,
which has thrived for more than 10 years. They have experienced many things
together and have worked through their own set of difficulties, all of which have
brought them closer than ever before.
“Life is tough today and time is precious, but you can make
a difference by becoming a Big,” said Michael. So far this year, Hispanic
children represent almost 22% of the children Big Brothers Big Sisters served, but
only around 9% of our volunteers are Hispanic. Visit LatinoBigs.org to find out
more about the importance of being a mentor and to volunteer to be a Big.