I grew up in the border city of Tijuana, Mexico and although you have the best of both worlds (Delicious food and the best opportunities) I didn’t have a real mentor until I was an adult (Although my biggest inspiration has always been my dad!) But without any disrespect (TQM Papi) I think a mentor at an earlier age would have been helpful, for example, I wish someone would have told me how important it is to attend a U.S high school instead of Mexico, where no one ever talks about mentorship.
From the beginning Phyllis took me under her wing, guided me, advised me and because of her, I succeeded in my position as a the first Spanish speaking news anchor at an English station, if it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t even be writing this post today.
Phyllis taught me NEVER TO GIVE UPno matter what the circumstances are. I will always be grateful to her.
Today Phyllis is the VP and News Director at WFLD
Coincidentally, Phyllis introduced me to my other mentor, Lidia Martinez, whose speciality is to connect people and although she’s extremely busy, she’s the Manager, Community Affairs & Grassroots at Southwest Airlines, Lidia always has time to talk to me when I need an opinion or connection.
It’s because of Lidia I became a mentor after she introduced me to United States Hispanic Leadership Institute (The photo above it’s at last years USHLI conference, Lidia is second from the right.) whose mission is to promote education, research, leadership development, and empower Latinos.
Here I’m with a group of Latina Leaders after my workshops.
Let me tell you, even though I’m suppose to empower these Latinitas, they empower me! And I love being a mentor to some of them and see how they’re overcoming obstacles everyday to achieve their goals, just like I did with the help of my mentors.
As a Latina and journalist who is always looking for interesting stories, sadly, every day I learn how much help or Latino youth needs to avoid dropping out of school, using illegal drugs, underage drinking and gangs. It’s not that Latinos are bad parents,but most of them have 2 or 3 jobs, work long hours and can’t spend a lot of time with their children, they have to choose between a baseball game with their son or a day of work so they have food on their table that night.
That’s why Big Brothers Big Sisters are looking for a few good hombres y mujeres to serve as role models to our Latino youth.
Here are some facts:
- 20% of the children Big Brothers Big Sisters serves are Latino, but only 9% of ‘Bigs’ are Latino.
- More than 70% of the children ready and waiting to be matched with a mentor are boys, only 3 of 10 volunteer inquiries come from men.
And what better time to contribute to your community and help a Latino build a better future than Hispanic Heritage month, don’t you think?
Isn’t time to pay it forward and help a Latino, just like that special person helped you achieve a better life!
Need more inspiration to become a ‘Big’? Watch more incredible stories about ‘Bigs’ and “Littles’ on their YouTube Channel
Make sure to join Latina Mom Bloggers and Big Brothers and Big Sisters on Wednesday, OCT 10 from 7- 8:00 pm ET for a Twitter CHAT! There will be lots of information regarding our Latino ‘littles’ and their need for ‘Big’ volunteers!
Lets work together to support our youth, our future. Follow the hashtag #LatinoBigs