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By Bernarda M. Garcia
Officially launched on Thursday, June 27th, in Boston, “The Latino Legacy Fund” has brought together an unprecedented partnership between local Latino philanthropists, “The Boston Foundation”, and the national organization “Hispanics in Philanthropy”.
According to its founders, The Latino Legacy Fund – the first of it’s kind – will serve as a permanent endowment and a current grant making fund designed to support issues that advance the socio-economic status of Latinos, while expanding the role of Latinos in philanthropy and civic leadership. It will also seek to partner with individuals, businesses, nonprofit organizations and government to fulfill this mission.
Because of the importance of early childhood education for the future of the Latino community, the Latino Legacy Fund also announced that it has decided to focus its initial grant making in this area.
The event was hosted by MFS Investment Management at their 111 Huntington Avenue offices as their CEO and Chair, Robert Manning, shared welcoming remarks.
“Nobody in this room has succeeded without someone helping him or her and the greatest gift you can give to yourself as a person is to help someone and that’s what this fund is about,” said Manning.
Paul Grogan, President of “The Boston Foundation”, one of the oldest and largest community foundations in the nation (founded in 1915) announced that both
“The Boston Foundation” and “Hispanics in Philanthropy” have provided $250,000 each in matching dollars to build and strengthen the Fund.
“In addition, all of the members of the inaugural Advisory Committee have made a multi-year commitment to the Fund”, explained Grogan.
Grogan also introduced Gladys Vega, Executive Director of the “Chelsea Human Service Collaborative”, which serves a significantly large number of Latino families through community organizing and education.
Vega shared her experience coming to Boston from Puerto Rico as a young girl fleeing domestic violence and struggling, but persevering to achieve The American Dream.
“Think about how many of our kids simply need a little help in getting on a path to success. This type of fund can change many lives and I am a living example of that”, added Vega.
Indeed, studies have shown that Latino children who attend high-quality early education programs have shown greater academic gains than their black and white peers, increasing test scores by between 54 and 73 percent.
“This is why we need to give back at this time because we truly can make a difference”, expressed Latino Legacy Fund Co-Founder Aixa Beauchamp.
“I strongly believe that it’s our obligation as Latino professionals who have achieved some level of success to give back and support the next generation of Latino leaders,” added Beauchamp.
For Rosalin Acosta, New England Wealth Market Leader at TD Bank Wealth Management it’s about being united in a cause.
“Divided we do nothing, but together we can accomplish so much and this fund will be a great example of doing great things when working together.”
Juan Carlos Morales, co-founder of the Latino Legacy Fund, focused on the need for successful professionals of all walks of life to take up the philanthropic spirit and “to give until it hurts” because the work that will be done by this fund will have a priceless return on investment.
“It’s about our future and the future of our community, it’s that simple.”
Julene Perez-Gonzalez, Vice President for “Hispanics In Philanthropy” also believes the time is now as “we are going to be the majority-minority and if our kids don’t receive the education they need to be prosperous and lead, then this next generation is going to grow up in a different world than I did. It is up to us to do something about it.”
Working with peers who have the same passion about “paying it forward” is what inspired Oswald Mondejar, VP of Human Resources and Diversity, Partners Healthcare to get involved.
“I grew up in a working class family with limited resources, but even if there was just one plate of food we shared it with somebody else and this committee has that same mentality which is to share and help those who have less,” he added.
For more information about contributing to this important fund, please contact the Associate Director of Donor Services and 617-338-3112. You can also visit: www.tbf.org/latinolegacyfund
Rosalin Acosta, New England Wealth Market
Leader, TD Bank Wealth Management
Zamawa Arenas, Principal, ARGUS
Carolina Avellaneda, Partner, McCarter & English LLP
Aixa Beauchamp, Latino Legacy Fund Co-Founder
Jarrett Barrios, Chief Executive Officer,
American Red Cross of Eastern Massachusetts
Rene Jarquin, Sr. Portfolio Manager, BNY Mellon Wealth Management
Oswald Mondejar, VP of Human Resources and
Diversity, Partners Healthcare
Juan Carlos Morales, Latino Legacy Fund Co-Founder
Marcelo Perez Verzini, Director of Finance,
Micho Spring, President, Weber Shandwick New England