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Big Brothers Big Sisters forming Latino Advisory Council

Group will assist in finding ways to better serve Latino population

Published: Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012 8:10 a.m. CDT

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JOLIET, Ill. — Are you concerned about Latino children in our community? Big Brothers Big Sisters is forming a Latino Advisory Council to assist in advancing its efforts to serve the Latino population in its service area of Will, Grundy, Kankakee and Iroquois counties.

The initial meeting is at noon today, Thursday, Dec. 13, at Big Brothers Big Sisters, 417 Taylor St., Joliet. This informational session is open to anyone concerned about Latino children in Will, Grundy, Kankakee and Iroquois counties. Lunch will be provided.

The Latino Advisory Council will consist of respected and accomplished leaders in the areas of government, business, media relations, social services, etc. Representation from current and alumni big brothers and big sisters, alumni littles and/or their families will also be included.

Richard Rodriguez of Joliet will chair the Latino Advisory Council. He sits on the Big Brothers Big Sisters Board of Directors. Office manager Vivian Mather and social worker Lorraine Guerrero will work with the committee as well.

Guerrero explains, “Latino children are our largest growing demographic of children. I hope that whoever comes to our December 13th meeting will leave with a sense of responsibility to help Latino youth. We want to inspire community leaders to empower Latino youth, whether they work with us or find their own niche to do so.”

“The experience and input from the Latino Advisory Council membership will provide guidance and ensure quality, culturally and linguistically appropriate mentoring services to the Latino community,” says Big Brothers Big Sisters CEO Lisa Morel Las. “They will also assist us in shaping and prioritizing our future direction around service to the Latino population.”

Members will be expected to commit time, influence and energy in furthering the work of the Big Brothers Big Sisters Latino Mentoring Initiative (LMI).

Specific responsibilities include…

• Provide guidance to Big Brothers Big Sisters’ leadership in order to ensure that the strategic plan of the organization includes the needs of the Latino population and strategies for meeting such

• Provide feedback on emerging and best practices within the Latino population

• Recommend direction and methods for outreaching to and serving the Latino population

• Provide guidance and support in identifying and leveraging potential partnerships and resources that will supplement the LMI efforts

• Become informed about the organization’s mission, vision, values and programming in order to better service in the capacity of advisory board member

• Attend quarterly Latino Advisory Council meetings

“The December 13th meeting will provide information on our evidence and research based mentoring program and why it is a proven success and crucial to children in our community,” Guerrero adds. “While this is an effort to increase mentors for our youth, our hope is that even if something bigger or different comes out of it, we’ll be happy.”

For more information about Big Brothers Big Sisters, visit the agency’s new Latino-focused website at http://www.latinobigs.org.

To register for the informational meeting, contact Vivian Mather at Big Brothers Big Sisters at 815.723.2227 or email Richard Rodriguez at richardrodriguez36@gmail.com.

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