Growing up in Puerto Rico surrounded by a large, supportive family, Eneida Román learned to believe in the power of role models. As a girl, she wanted to be like her female cousins: popular and successful. She understood by osmosis that she would pursue an education. Her family made that abundantly clear.
But for many Latino families, the role modeling ends with relatives. The notion of taking steps to help a young person outside of the extended family may seem strange, almost unnatural. That’s one of the reasons why there’s a lack of volunteers to mentor the 500 girls, most of them of color, on the waiting list of Big Sister Association of Greater Boston. That’s also why Román’s decision to reach outside the family circle to help young girls in need of role models is so noteworthy.