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Education

Big Brothers, Big Sisters Launch College Mentoring Program for Hispanic Youth

Big Brothers, Big Sisters Launch College Mentoring Program for Hispanic Youth

Photo: Big Brother, Big Sister to Mentor Hispanic Youth

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Big Brothers Big Sisters has received a three-year $1,791,193 grant from The Goizueta Foundation to introduce Camino al Exito, an innovative mentoring program for Hispanic children.  The program is designed to match students with mentors with the goal of keeping them in school, helping them advance to the next grade level, and preparing them to attain post-secondary education and/or employment.

The grant will allow Big Brothers Big Sisters to launch the high-impact, Hispanic youth education initiative via a pilot project in Georgia.  Developed from insights gleaned from the results of a six-month planning grant from The Goizueta Foundation, the initiative will serve 730 students who face adversity.  The Camino al Exito initiative takes Big Brothers Big Sisters to the next level in its service to Hispanic children, volunteers, families and communities. 

“Big Brothers Big Sisters is moving from simply engaging a new community to more effectively achieving educational success with youth, in partnership with parents, schools and the broader community.  We understand that the education sphere is an ecosystem comprised of many vested players including youths, schools, parents, community organizations, government institutions and volunteers,” said Big Brothers Big Sisters of America President and Chief Executive Officer Karen J. Mathis.  “Mentoring is a critical component that can effectively connect the many players in this complex context. When a youth is struggling academically, each of these actors is responsible and accountable.”

The launch of Camino al Exito will catalyze change in specific Georgia communities and position Big Brothers Big Sisters to impact educational outcomes across school districts and states throughout the country. Key to the initiative’s success will be productive, more integrated, partnerships between Big Brothers Big Sisters, its volunteer mentors, schools/education community, and parents of youth. Backed by independent studies proving its effectiveness, Big Brothers Big Sisters holds itself accountable for helping children who face adversity achieve measurable outcomes that lead to lifelong success.  The mentoring network’s 370 agencies carefully match children with mentors in long-term one-to-one mentoring friendships and provide ongoing support to the volunteers, mentees and their families so that the relationships endure and yield strong results.

The Goizueta Foundation has supported the Big Brothers Big Sisters Hispanic Mentoring program since 2003 with four grants, including the Camino al Exito funding, totaling $4.6 million.  Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Hispanic Mentoring programs provide the mentoring network’s local affiliates with communications strategies and tools that enhance engagement with Hispanic families and communities, alleviating language and cultural barriers.

The five Big Brothers Big Sisters affiliates that will participate in the Georgia Camino al Exito pilot include:

  * Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta (Atlanta)
  * Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Coastal Empire (Savannah)
  * Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Georgia Mountains (Dalton)
  * Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Chattahoochee Valley (Columbus)
  * Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Heart of Georgia (Macon)