Hector Cortez to Lead Big Brothers Big Sisters Hispanic Mentoring Programs
PHILADELPHIA,-- Hector Cortez, a leader in community outreach and advocacy for national and international faith-based organizations, has been named director of Hispanic Mentoring for Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. Big Brothers Big Sisters, a donor and volunteer-supported network of mentors for youth, serves nearly 260,000 children of low-income, single and incarcerated parents.
Cortez has spent nearly 20 years working on some of our community's toughest issues including gang prevention, HIV/AIDS and at-risk youth job training. Prior to joining Big Brothers Big Sisters, he was vice president for national programs for Esperanza, a non-profit organization committed to free Hispanic children and their families from poverty through initiatives that generate income, education and health, restoring self-worth and dignity when they have lost hope.
In his new role, Cortez is responsible for guiding the national charity's Hispanic Mentoring Program, an initiative that has resulted in a 28 percent increase in the number of Hispanic children served by Big Brothers Big Sisters' nearly 400 agencies from 2007 to 2008.
"Hector's deep understanding of the challenges our youth face today - as well as hands-on experience on how to foster positive change - make him an ideal choice to lead our Hispanic mentoring effort," said Judy Vredenburgh, President and CEO, Big Brothers Big Sisters. "Hector joins us just as we are releasing new data from research conducted for us by Harris Interactive(R), suggesting adult 'Littles' are more likely to have four-year college degrees and household incomes of $75,000 or more, and that they are more likely to have positive family relationships. His work to better engage Hispanic volunteers and families will make a huge difference in many communities we serve," she added.
Cortez will work closely with the Big Brothers Big Sisters' Nationwide Hispanic Advisory Council and institutions such as the Hispanic Scholarship Fund and community and faith-based organizations across the country to develop and implement strategies focused on increasing the number of Hispanic children and adult volunteers to create Big Brother/Big Sister matches.
A native of Utuado, Puerto Rico, Hector was raised in Chicago and holds a BA in Sociology and a Master of Divinity degree.
Big Brothers Big Sisters helps vulnerable children beat the odds. The organization depends on donations to help recruit volunteers and reach more children. Funding is used to conduct background checks on volunteers to ensure child safety; and provide ongoing support for children, families and volunteers to build and sustain long-lasting relationships. Big Brothers Big Sisters is proven to improve children's odds for succeeding in school, behaving nonviolently, avoiding drugs and alcohol, and breaking negative cycles. Headquartered in Philadelphia and with nearly 400 agencies across the country, Big Brothers Big Sisters serves more than a quarter million children. Learn how you can change how children grow up in America by going to BigBrothersBigSisters.org.
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SOURCE Big Brothers Big Sisters of America