MetLife Foundation Boosts Latino Mentoring Program


The 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 Latino population. The grant – MetLife Foundation’s fourth since 2008 – brings the total support for the Hispanic Mentoring Program to $2 million.
There is currently a need for Latinos to be part of the Nutmeg Big Brothers Big Sisters Latino mentoring program. Nutmeg established its Latino Mentoring Program in 2005 in an effort to extend its important services to the state’s fastest-growing ethnic segment.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of America Chief Diversity Officer Hector Cortez said, “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 Latino, 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.