HomeArticlesBig Brothers Big Sisters & Year Up & Latino Genealogy
Big Brothers Big Sisters & Year Up & Latino Genealogy
August 11, 2019
>>>Good evening, I’m Jose Cardenas. Tonight on “Horizonte,” big brothers, big sisters of central Arizona are looking for adult mentors. Learn how you can make a difference in a child’s life. Plus a group giving young adults the skills and experience they need to get a job. And the importance of Latino genealogy and family archives. Find out how you can trace your family roots. All this coming up next on “Horizonte.”>>Funding for “Horizonte” is made possible by contributions by the friends of eight, members of your Arizona PBS station.>>>Thank you for joining us. Big brothers, big sisters of central Arizona is an organization that helps children build their futures. Currently they are looking for volunteers to help mentor kids, particularly Hispanic males. Joining me to talk about this is Brandi Devlin, director of community engagement at big brothers big sisters of central Arizona. And John Paul Adan, a big brother and program specialist at big brothers, big sisters of central Arizona. Thank you both for joining us.>>Thank you.>>Give us a thumbnail sketch of big brothers big sisters in Arizona.>>Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona is part of the big brothers big sisters national network, 100 year organization. We have been in the valley. Wrapping up the 60th year. Largest, most effective, and oldest organization in the country that focuses on mentoring.>>And you are part of a national organization. The subject we’re talking about tonight is also problem for organizations across the country, which is you don’t have enough male volunteers.>>Exactly. No problem bringing female volunteers in. Historic problem nationwide bringing male volunteers in. I think they think there is a large time and financial commitment and there really isn’t much of a commitment like that. It is really a commitment to a child.>>As I understand, statistics, you have 70/30 in terms of the kids and percentages of Hispanics and vice versa in terms of –>>About 40, 45% of the kids on the wait list are Hispanic. As far as being matched, do you know the number of how much Hispanic kids are matched?>>No, we have fewer than 50% of the kids that are matched are Hispanic. A little under 50%.>>What’s the problem? You have done it for years. We will talk about the little brothers you have mentored. Why is it so hard to get males involved?>>I think like brandi said earlier, they’re just afraid of the commitment. It is going to take up all of their time or they will not have the time to commit to a child. When I did it, I was actually working two jobs when I first became a big brother. So, I know that you can make that time. You can include them in your normal everyday activities, and just kind of include them in your life and just be there to hang out with them and spend time with them.>>Brandi, as I understand it, there are efforts that are being made to educate people about what the commitments are. You have mentoring month coming up in January?>>Right, January is mentoring month. We will be out in the community, recruitment events and talking to people in community about the commitment to big brothers.>>You have a scarcity of male big brothers to begin with. And then it is even worse in terms of Hispanic participation, right?>>Yes, correct.>>So, what are you doing about that?>>What we are doing right now, we are doing different recruitment events, event going on this month and we will focus on recruitment events in January and just trying to get the word out. Reaching out to bigs in blue program that reaches out to police officers. We’re also reaching out to the firefighting community, fraternities at ASU and some of the other organizations. We’re reaching out to male groups. We’re also working with sporting teams and different organizations that attract men to try to reach out to their constituents to see if they can help us recruit men.>>The concern is time commitment from what I understand. What do you tell them about that?>>The time commitment is minimal. Basically it comes town to four, five hours a month. And you can give much more time if you would like. We ask you to meet with your little brother or little sister if you are a big sister. We ask you to meet with them two, three times a month for an hour, hour and a half and just do the things that you like to do. If you are the type of person who likes to hike on a Saturday. Go pick up the little brother, little sister, take them hiking with you. If you like to take a cooking class. If you like to go to the movies, just eat pizza. It doesn’t take much but it is just spending quality time with a child.>>We want to talk about real-life experiences that you have had. We will put a picture on the screen of one of them. And this is you and this young man attending a football game.>>Actually, this is the one with the map. But football games some of the things that they like to do. Temp us — tell us about this young man.>>I met him when he was eight years old. At that time I was a lunch buddy big brother. We met at his school for lunch. We hung out for an hour a day or an hour a week during his lunch. Played board games, went outside and played basketball. Hung out at his school. We did that for about a year. And trans — transferred to a community-based match hanging out in the community. Going to Phoenix suns basketball games, cardinal games, playing football, and being active outdoors and just you know doing things that we both like to do together.>>Lunch buddy, is a sub program that you have for –>>Right.>>How does that work?>>Lunch buddy program is kind of the same. Meet two to four times a month but at their school. At this point, only 45 minutes to an hour, whatever time that they have for their lunch at school and we try to target people that work near the schools. We have about 12 different schools now in our program that are part of that program, where you can, you know, if you work near there, live near there, you can meet them at school for lunch. Limited to hanging out at school with that kind of program.>>This will be the other program, picture on the screen, you with a different little brother attending a cardinals game.>>Right. One of the benefits of being a big brother, we have a web site for all of our mentors that they can go on to, called think big. And basically go on there and there is a list of activities that you can do with your little. So, when we get tickets donated from the cardinals or diamondbacks or the Phoenix suns or NASCAR, whatever event that matches into doing, they can usually find something on there. It is usually free, they’re donated. We got tickets from someone donated to the cardinals game and went to the game and hung out. And I have taken almost all of my little brothers to diamondbacks game, cardinals and suns game. Most of the time their first time attending each of those events. Introduce them to that.>>Little brothers grow up, that first picture we had of you, that young man is now aged out of the program.>>Now like 19. Graduated from high school. And he is going to school and working himself.>>Yeah.>>Brandi, tell us about the profile and criterion for a young boy to be part of the program.>>So, what we do is we go out and work with schools, parents, and community organizations, other agencies, and identify boys that could benefit from having a male positive role model in their life. Some kids come from single family homes. A parent incarcerated, maybe a situation where they are living with an extended family member, grandparent, aunt, uncle or something like that and they need that positive male role model in their life.>>Age 6-14 –>>We can take them as young as six and they can enter into the program 14, and age out of the program when they’re 18. We hear stories over and over again where they keep in touch for years after they have aged out of the program.>>Your stories about your relationships with your little brothers are inspiring. Why is it so difficult to get other men involved?>>You know, like I said, I think they just — they don’t realize how easy it is to be a big brother. It is not that much of a time commitment. You know, everybody is busy. We all have jobs, or we’re doing things with our lives and our families, but, you know, I think for me once I became a big brother, I knew that was something that I would always be a part of. It has been 11 years now. Whether I’m busy or not, I have managed to squeeze that time into my personal life and just create those relationships, friendships with the kids.>>Next few months you will be working on getting the message out to prospective big brothers, and January –>>We have 300 children on the waiting list and most of them are boys. Some of the kids will wait up to two years to get a big brother. We want to be able to match them as soon as possible.>>I wish you both luck and four your benefit and actually more importantly the kids. Thank you for joining us on “Horizonte.”>>Thank you for having us.>>Thank you. MM MM MM>>>Year up is a national group providing young adults with the skills, support, and experience to reach their potential through higher education and professional careers. The group brought its program to Arizona and it’s a chance to give young adults the skills they need to get a job. Joining me now to talk about the program is Kim Owens, founding executive director for year up Arizona. Kim, welcome to “Horizonte.”>>Thank you.>>You guys just started in Arizona earlier this year. What brought you to the state of Arizona?>>Well, we have been around 15 years in the country. Some of our nation’s largest employers and our largest partners brought us here by demand and mentioned Arizona as a place that had a large demand of middle skills jobs that would align perfectly with our program. So, American Express, bank of America, J.P. Morgan Chase suggested that we come here and here we are.>>And we didn’t plan it this way. I wish we had. But it is just pure coincidence that the segment we had on big brothers big sisters, they age out at 18. That is when you pick them up.>>Absolutely. So many great programs that start from great schools, high school and on and they sort of stop at 18 years old. And that is where year up steps in, 18 to 24-year-old, pick up on the good work that has been done by so many community organizations and high schools, absolutely where we jump in.>>Tell us what a typical experience would be for a 18-year-old?>>As the name implies, year-up, a 12-month program. When you start the program, first six months are in what we call learning and development. A training program where you learn professional skills, resume building, interviewing, elevator pitches and then it moves into technical skills. Complex as job programming, HTML, complicated roles. They learn the professional and technical skills in the first six months. If you complete that successfully, you are guaranteed an internship at a fortune 500 company or an Arizona employer. So, those six month internships are supervised. We provide high support, high expectation throughout the program, and after six months, we find that the success would lead to either a full-time career or a full-time enrollment back in school.>>First six months, that is at the community college –>>We partner with gateway community college. Their faculty teach a lot of technical components of the program, JAVA, HTML, business communications and things like that.>>What are the criteria? I assume they have to be high school graduates.>>Yes.>>Eligibility for higher ed.>>High school graduate or GED. And we work through those obstacles, the barriers that might keep someone out of higher education. Sometimes when we talk about eligible, sometimes the only barrier could be a $50 bad debt from a student prior experience. It could be greater than that as well, but a barrier might be finances that they can’t pay for their own education. A barrier might be that they just dropped out of school, with a lower GPA. We work with gateway and we enroll students and provide that support framework for the duration of the program.>>Are there certain expectations for that first six months in terms of how they perform at the community college?>>We have academic guidelines in place that help support a student to success in the program. When they’re done with the program, they will end up with 30 college credits. That is halfway to an associates degree but they have to earn that by maintaining a C or better GPA, and some academic integrity in, you know, issues throughout the program, we support a student throughout that process to help them get their academic requirements completed.>>And the next six months, the internship.>>Yes.>>Give us an example of those.>>We have internships, right now, 30 interns placed around the valley with some of the organizations that I mentioned. There is a high support model in place that says they will meet regularly with their supervisor. They come back to year up where we identify any trends in performance. Are we tending to be late? Are we missing days of work? Are we doing exceptional things well that we want to pass on and carry through to the entire group? We monitor that experience and work closely with employers to help build the talent that we have in those internships.>>Are these unpaid internships?>>The students in our program will have a stipend paid to them through year up. So, technically they’re unpaid, but there is a small stipend to help with living expenses as they venture into that 12 month journey.>>What happens at the end of the year?>>At the end of the year, December, we will graduate our first class. At the end of the year, we find and target the outcomes as follows. One would be within four months of completing the program, 85% of the students will go into full-time careers.>>Based on experience in other parts of the country?>>Yeah, so, thank you. What we find nationally, and what we hold ourselves accountable to is at least 85% of the students that finish the program will land full-time career or full-time education within four months of completion. We look for salary guidelines. Our national average for salaries after completing the program is $16 an hour or $32,000 a year. We also measure satisfaction on employer satisfaction, so if we look at our base, in our history so far, 90% of those employers that work with us say they would work with us again and they would tell a friend about year up. It is a win, win, win.>>How do these students find you, these young adults or — and also how do you find them?>>It has become a bit of a grass roots campaign for us. Ultimately what we will find is that 80% of the participants find us through word of mouth. That’s about three years down the road. And meanwhile, we’re sort of a new and unproven entity in the Phoenix area. So, how we find students is building relationships and partnerships through community organizations, high schools, and we go actively recruit and have full-time outreach specialists who help us to find the students. We attend job fairs and education fairs and really try to create word of mouth campaign in a very small and grass roots effort.>>How many young adults do you have in the program now?>>Today a capacity for 120 young adults. We have 110 in the program now.>>Ultimately what capacity are you looking to have?>>The sky is the limit. Population that could be served, Arizona alone has 93,000 opportunity youth. Youth unemployed and not currently enrolled in school. Population of 93,000 young adults to serve here in the greater Phoenix area alone. Our only limits are those who are willing to engage and employ these interns, and to me, we shouldn’t stop at, you know, 200, 400, a year. There is a lot of work to be done here. It just requires a small community of support to do that.>>Thank you for joining us on “Horizonte” to talk about this great program.>>Thank you.>>To find out more information on what is on “Horizonte,” azpbs.org, click on the “Horizonte” tab at the top of the screen. There you can access many features to become a more informed “Horizonte” viewer. Watch interviews by clicking on the video button, scrolling down to the bottom of the page for the most recent segments. Learn about more specific topics, arts and culture and immigration. You can also find out what’s on “Horizonte” for the upcoming week. If you would like an RSS feed, podcast or you want to buy a video, that’s on the web site, too. Other features include the collection of web site links and a special page for educators. While there, show your support for “Horizonte” with just one click. Discover all that is on “Horizonte,” visit azpbs.org, “Horizonte” today.>>Get the inside scoop on what’s happening at Arizona PBS. Become an eight insider. You will receive weekly updates on the most anticipated upcoming programs and events. Get the eight insider delivered to your email in box. Visit azpbs.org to sign up today.>>>Recently there was a Latino genealogy and family preservation of archives workshop held where attendees were taught to trace their roots and preserve their family’s history. Here to talk about the workshop is Nancy Godoy-Powell, curator and librarian of Chicano, a research collection. Welcome to “Horizonte.”>>Thank you.>>You had this conference. How many people?>>About 60 people.>>You talk both about how to trace your roots and what to do with the artifacts that they may have.>>Yes.>>On the first part, 21st Century, a lot easier to do. A picture on the screen of somebody using one of these many data bases that are available. And this was somebody using it, I think, at the conference, right?>>Yes, at the workshop. So, we were using a few different data bases, ancestry.com, and familysearch.org and showing the people how they could search archives. For example, archives like ours, which is the Chicano research collection. We preserved Chicano, Mexican American history in Arizona for 45 years. We’re celebrating our 45th anniversary. So, this workshop was a way to celebrate the history, roots, and culture, and we’re trying to basically engage the community, educate the community, and empower the community.>>And what kind of reaction did you get from people like the gentleman here in the picture?>>They were waiting for something like this. A lot of the times it is really hard for Latinos to do genealogy research. So when I actually provided the tools, people were so excited.>>And part of it, I assume, is data bases.>>Yes.>>And there has been announcements about different data bases that are available. You don’t have to pay for all of this.>>Yeah, so, through ancestry, you have a subscription, and it is a monthly subscription. Family search is actually free. So depending on what your style is when you are doing research, you can use either/or.>>So many of the people in the valley would have their roots in Mexico and other parts of Latin America. Is it harder for them to do the kinds of research we’re talking about?>>Yes.>>And is that because the data bases are just not there as they might be in the United States?>>A lot of times you find documents archives, for example, in my case, I was a — trace my family history back to the 1600s. And the reason I was able to do this was because a lot of Catholic church records from this period were actually digitized and put available online.>>Is that something that has happened in recent years?>>Yes, yes, I would say within the last 10, 15 years.>>Before that, it was just more physical research.>>If you wanted to do the research, you probably would have to go to Mexico or see if anyone had micro film in the archives.>>Anything else you told the people attending the workshop in terms of the researching part of this?>>I’m sorry.>>What other things did you tell them about researching?>>When doing genealogy research, there is different pathways you can take. You can search for documents that pertain to census records, Catholic church records, like I mentioned, baptism records, death records, also border crossings. This is through the Mexican and United States government. You can see when a family member crossed the border. I was able to find actually documentation of my grandfather who crossed over the border to work in the program — all of these documents are out there. You have to have patience to do the research.>>The picture on the screen, is not your grand father, but illustrates the other half of the workshop, how people should handle and treat their historic documents.>>Yes, I brought a kit with me today. This is something that we gave out during the workshop, and it is a little starter kit for the community. We essentially provide materials that will help the community start preserving.>>A brochure with instructions.>>Yes, the brochure has instructions, and it is written in English and Spanish and we provide basically four tips, easy tips to archival — essentially archival theory. So, step one would be actually do an inventory of what you have. A lot of the times people don’t realize that they have these amazing things in their basements and attics. Step one, do an inventory of what you have. Step two would be start organizing the material. Have family members identify people in photographs. A lot of times –>>A lot of it is communication. I want to make sure we get to the — we’re going to run out of time. You have a –>>We have gloves you can use when working with photographs. Your fingers have oils that can damage photographs, and so we have mylar that protects the images and folders and an archival box.>>Another picture on the screen somebody doing what you say. Using the gloves and holding magnificent photographs actually.>>Uh-hmm.>>Once you found the photographs, you handle them with the gloves, and you put them into the folders?>>Yes.>>Instructions about how to preserve these artifacts?>>Especially in Arizona, try to find somewhere where the light isn’t an issue, and then also find a controlled temperature. We don’t want something that is too hot or too cold or too humid. So, something as easily as putting something in your closet would be a good idea. But also create copies so that you can share with your family so it is not just you’re putting things away. You are trying to actively preserve it. Make this a family activity. Encourage family to work on something like this together.>>It sounds like a bonding experience as well.>>I actually did this with my family.>>That’s great. Thank you for joining us.>>Thank you.>>>And that’s our show for tonight. From all of us here at “Horizonte” and your Arizona PBS station, thank you for watching. I’m Jose Cardenas. Have a good evening. MM>>Funding for “Horizonte” is made possible by contributions by the friends of eight, members of your Arizona PBS station.