Share Your Love Foundation was organized to provide resources to families living below the poverty line in Brazil. Since 2014, immigrant youth were encouraged to engage and take leadership roles in our fundraising events. Wanting to do more for the surrounding community, the youth pushed us to organize monthly collective service days at a local non-profit organization.
In 2017-2018, we consolidated and broadened the services offered by our Youth Group into monthly meetings for parents and teenagers focused on empowering immigrant parents with the necessary information to guide their children on the road to a post-secondary life of achievement. Volunteers from diverse academic and professional backgrounds simultaneously lead parent meetings and student activities focused on college and career preparation for roughly 40 families.
Aware of the barriers facing immigrant families with dreams of educating their children in the United States at post-secondary level and dearth of resources in Portuguese, we hope to increase and better structure the hours of training offered to parents and students to allow them to compete fairly in admissions and hiring processes with their American and Hispanic peers.
While Portuguese is the third most spoken language in Massachusetts, most public and non-profit services still do not reach our population. Those that do, while proficient in the language, do not have the cultural understanding necessary to avoid miscommunications and allow Brazilian immigrants full access to existing supports.
Our dream is to develop meetings in weekly basis, scaffolded programs, and mentor low-income immigrant students from 8th-12th grade, while developing a library of resources for parents in their own language as well as instructing them on how to make full use of existing supports, such as high school counseling departments, college fairs, summer programs, scholarship and mentorship opportunities.