National 4-H Council announced today it has received a three year, $2 million grant from the New York Life Foundation to empower more Hispanic youth to succeed in high school, graduate on time and pursue a college education. The funds will support the successful 4-H Juntos program, expanding the program into three new markets and enhancing the curriculum to include financial literacy education.
Research shows that Hispanic youth are at the greatest risk of dropping out of school between the ninth and tenth grades. The 4-H Juntos program is geared toward Hispanic eighth and ninth graders who are struggling in school and are economically disadvantaged, and strives to equip these students for success in high school, involving their parents to help ensure sustainable success. The program includes four key components:
- Weekly, one-on-one mentoring with a trained “Success Coach”;
- Family workshops and monthly check-ins to make college a realistic family goal;
- Afterschool 4-H Club meetings where youth lead hands-on projects and develop critical life skills; and
- Engaging experiences through 4-H camps, college-campus visits and educational conferences.
“By preparing youth to enter high school, the 4-H Juntos program supports students during the crucial middle school years, a key focus area for the New York Life Foundation. And research shows that Latino youth are in particular need of this support,” said Marlyn Torres, corporate vice president of the New York Life Foundation. “By working closely with employees active in the company’s Latino Employee Resource Group and agents across the country who participate in New York Life’s Latino Market Initiative, we can provide complementary support for this important cause.”
“By 2035, one-third of all American children and youth will be Latino – that means many more Hispanic youth who will need programs that are tailored to meet their unique youth development needs,” said Jennifer Sirangelo, president and CEO, National 4-H Council. “We are thrilled to have the New York Life Foundation’s support of our commitment to bring life-changing 4-H youth development programs like 4-H Juntos to more Hispanic young people across the nation.”
As part of this grant, National 4-H Council will work with New York Life to enhance the organization’s current “My Financial Future” financial literacy curriculum by adding a life insurance component. More than 1500 agents are part of the company’s Latino Market Initiative, as well as members of the company’s Latino Employee Resource Group, will be able to volunteer to teach these important concepts to students and families in addition to engaging in other volunteer opportunities. “We are very excited to be working with the New York Life Foundation and 4-H to provide mentorship and volunteerism opportunities to New York Life agents and employees who have a passion for giving back and for making a difference in their communities,” said Hector Vilchis who manages New York Life’s Latino Market Initiative and also serves on the company’s Latino Employee Resource Group leadership committee.
In 2015, 4-H Juntos will expand in Raleigh, North Carolina and launch in New York City. The program will also expand to one additional priority market per year in years two and three of the grant.