Success Story October 15, 2021 at 10:30 am

Meet the first Black and Latina to lead the 117-yr-old nonprofit Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC

Abu Mubarik October 15, 2021 at 10:30 am

October 15, 2021 at 10:30 am | Success Story

Alicia Guevara, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City.

Alicia Guevara is the first Black and Latina CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City, America’s first and the city’s largest youth mentoring program that serves over 5,300 younger individuals.

The appointment of Guevara as the CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC is historic, as she is the first woman of color to occupy the position in its 117-year history. For the CEO, her role, which she assumed in June 2019, is “humbling.”

“I come to it with the fullness of my experience as a woman and as a woman of color. I’m a Black woman. I’m a Latina,” said Guevara, according to CBS New York.

Guevara was born and raised in the Bronx and grew up believing in the power of mentorship. Her mom had a great influence on her as her first mentor.

 “She just believed in me. And having someone tell you that they believe in you when you’re 7, 8 years old is invaluable,” Guevara said. “So, when I look at our young people, no matter what their age, no matter what their stage, I say, ‘I believe in you.’”

Guevara told CNBC Make It that she hopes her role can create room for others who look like her “to know that this, too, is a possibility for them.”

Eighty-two percent of young people in New York City identify as a youth of color but often lack access to social capital and alternatives that can improve their lives. 

COVID-19 has not been easy on anyone and when the pandemic struck, Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC went virtual in order to mentor kids who need guidance and care/support. 

“We need to make sure there’s a reliable, caring safety net in place through the power and magic of mentoring relationships,” Guevara said.

Guevara has over 25 years of experience in leading nonprofits, developing talent, influencing public policy, designing business strategies, and generating revenue through fundraising and earned income opportunities.

Guevara was listed by City and State as among the most politically influential Latinos, who make New York what it is.

“The first woman to lead the 116-year-old nonprofit, Alicia Guevara’s mission looks to ensure that the city’s underserved have a fighting chance at a bright future, matching young ones (the “littles”) with responsible adults (the “bigs”) to make that happen,” the list noted. “The resident of the Riverdale section of the Bronx, who once ran the social services nonprofit Part of the Solution in Fordham, now works to increase the mentorship figures in her home borough.”

Guevara went to Columbia University. She also has an executive education certificate for senior leaders in nonprofit management from Columbia Business School. She is a wife and a mother of two.

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