Adrian Montoro first learned about the Center for Latino Progress’ FUTUROS: Career Readiness, College Prep, and Civics for Youth program when his older brother participated in the program. In the summer of 2016, Adrian was also accepted into the summer youth employment program and became an intern at the Center’s BiCi Co bike shop. Adrian learned about the mechanics of bicycles and how to do basic repairs. The Center also taught him how to prepare a resume, coached him in job interviewing and exposed him to a wide variety of potential career opportunities.
The following summer Adrian applied for a part-time job at BiCi Co. and he has been working four days a week at the shop ever since. Adrian credits the Center for broadening his career aspirations, which led him to pursue an internship at the East Farmington Fire Department. After he graduates from high school this summer, Adrian plans to continue his training and become a certified firefighter.
Now more Greater Hartford Latino youth like Adrian will have an opportunity to gain real-life job experience, thanks to a $20,000 grant to the Center for Latino Progress from the Latino Endowment Fund (LEF) at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving. The grant will allow the Center for Latino Progress to serve thirty high school Latino youth in Hartford through its FUTUROS: Career Readiness, College Prep, and Civics for Youth program.
“The Center has been a great resource for my brother and me,” Adrian said. “I have learned what it means to work in a professional manner and the importance of getting real work experience. I have a better understanding of what kind of work I want to do in the future and what it takes to achieve my goals. Having learned how to work with others with different backgrounds and skills will be invaluable as I train to become a firefighter.”
FUTUROS supports youth who face obstacles that might otherwise prevent them from being able to achieve their life goals. They may have limited English proficiency, come from a working poor family, have low academic performance, been involved with the juvenile justice system, or face issues with their legalization status. Through FUTUROS, young people have access to internships, mentoring, tutoring, college preparation, career readiness, and financial literacy classes. Through its culturally competent staff and volunteer mentors, these youth will receive additional yearlong support. The program begins at the start of the academic year, runs through the summer and into the beginning of the following academic year.
“By providing young people with opportunities to learn about what it means to apply, interview and work at a business, we are ensuring that they are well-prepared to enter the workforce and be successful.,” said Yanil Teron, executive director of the Center for Latino Progress. “The Latino Endowment Fund’s grant to the FUTUROS program will allow us to offer more youth with the opportunity to develop career skills and receive mentoring and education that will better prepare them to identify and pursue the most appropriate career pathways for themselves.”
The Latino Endowment Fund was founded in 2003 by Latino leaders in Greater Hartford to increase philanthropy in their community and to strengthen nonprofits working to improve the quality of life for Latino residents. Members examine issues affecting the Latino community and recommend grants from the fund to address those issues.
“The Latino Endowment Fund has long supported efforts to provide educational and career training opportunities for Latino youth in Greater Hartford,” said Moraima Gutierrez, chair of the Latino Endowment Fund steering committee. “The Center for Latino Progress has been a leader in providing a broad range of support for Greater Hartford’s Latino community. We are proud to support their work to provide education, internships, mentorship and job opportunities for youth that make a real difference in the lives of so many of our young people.”
The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving is the community foundation for Hartford and 28 surrounding communities. Made possible by the gifts of generous individuals, families, and organizations, the Foundation has awarded grants of more than $750 million since its founding in 1925. For more information about the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, visit www.hfpg.org or call 860-548-1888.