IRVING, TX – Children benefitting from Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Hispanic Mentoring Program came together during a celebration held this past week at Gilbert Elementary in Irving, Texas to thank MetLife Foundation for a total of $1 million in grants supporting the organization’s nationwide Hispanic mentoring initiatives. The Little Brothers and Sisters (Littles) and Big Brothers and Sisters (Bigs) — who were paired as a result of the efforts of Big Brothers Big Sisters of North Texas — honored MetLife Foundation with testimonials, thank-you cards, and tres leches cake, a dessert served during traditional Latin and Latin American celebrations.

During the program, Paul Torres, Managing Partner of New England Financial, a MetLife company, presented Big Brothers Big Sisters of America with the Foundation’s second $500,000 grant for the Hispanic Mentoring program.  The grant expands upon support begun last year, which enabled Big Brothers Big Sisters of America to develop parent and volunteer outreach materials in English and Spanish, as well as provide funding to 20 local Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies across the country, including North Texas. The new $500,000 grant will enable the 20 agencies to expand their outreach within the Hispanic community, engaging more Hispanic children and adults in mentoring.

Big Brothers Big Sisters’ evidence-based programs improve the odds that vulnerable children will succeed and increase their chances for staying in school, behaving nonviolently, and avoiding drugs and other criminal activities.  The seven-year-old Hispanic Mentoring Program helps Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies serve Hispanic children more effectively.  The program provides agencies with communications strategies and tools that enhance engagement with Hispanic communities, alleviating language and cultural barriers.

“All young people can benefit from regular interaction with caring adults, who share their experiences and help them achieve their potential,” said Dennis White, president and CEO of MetLife Foundation. “We are pleased to expand our partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters in bringing the benefits of its proven mentoring programs to the country’s growing Hispanic youth population and in engaging more Hispanic adults as volunteer mentors.”

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