4-H and New York Life Foundation Inspire More Latino Youth to Pursue Higher Education

CHEVY CHASE, Md., April 20, 2018 – National 4-H Council recently received a three year, $1.5 million grant from the New York Life Foundation to enable more Latino students to successfully transition from middle school to high school, graduate on time and pursue a college education. The grant will provide continued support to the Juntos 4-H program launched in 2015 while expanding the program to new markets in California and Illinois.

The Juntos 4-H program, developed by North Carolina Cooperative Extension, works with middle and high school grade Latino youth to provide one-on-one mentoring, life skill workshops, and financial literacy training for participating youth and their families. Between 2015 and 2017, the Juntos 4-H program impacted nearly 400 youth in Texas, New York and Florida, with 87.5% of youth participants reporting increased motivation for high school graduation and 87.4% reporting increased motivation for college attendance.

“Research shows that Latino youth are at the greatest risk of dropping out of school between the ninth and tenth grades,” said Jennifer Sirangelo, president and CEO, National 4-H Council. “New York Life Foundation’s support is instrumental in inspiring youth to pursue higher education while building fundamental life skills. We are thrilled that the Juntos 4-H program will continue to change the lives of more youth across the country and help grow the next generation of leaders for years to come.”

In recognition of New York Life’s dedication to improving education outcomes of Latino youth, the company was awarded the Corporate Leadership Award at the 9th annual National 4-H Council Legacy Awards in Washington, DC on March 20th, 2018.

“The renewed support will enable Latino youth and their families in California and Illinois to gain the knowledge and skills they need to bridge the gap between high school and higher education,” said Marlyn Torres, corporate vice president, New York Life. “The Juntos program is helping us reach our goal of preparing more students to graduate high school on time and be ready for college.”

“Without Juntos in middle school or high school I wouldn’t be the person I am today,” said Naomi Rivera, a former Juntos 4-H participant who is now a college student and Juntos 4-H mentor. “Before I joined Juntos, I had no motivation to pursue college. This program gave me the push to believe ‘maybe I can do something with my life.'”

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