The Fig Factor Foundation Launches in New York with the Support of NYC’s Hispanic Googler Network and New York Edge

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Four years ago, The Fig Factor Foundation started with an idea to be a strong support system for young Latinas in Illinois who have big dreams and goals. Recognizing the need to help Latinas on the east coast, the foundation launched in New York with support from Google’s Hispanic Googler Network “HOLA”.

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We had unprecedented support from the community and the school. With girls that age, they think about graduating from school and have a carefree attitude. The girls who participated in the program were so engaged.

Four years ago, The Fig Factor Foundation started with an idea to be a strong support system for young Latinas in Illinois who have big dreams and goals. Recognizing the need to help Latinas on the east coast, the foundation launched in New York with support from Google’s Hispanic Googler Network “HOLA”.

The foundation’s mission is to provide educational leadership platforms, mentorship and meaningful and empowering activities to Latinas ages 12 to 25. Jacqueline Camacho-Ruiz, the nonprofit’s founder and CEO of JJR Marketing, formed the foundation in 2014.

Camacho-Ruiz and other foundation team members traveled to the PS/MS 161 Don Pedro Albizu Campos School in Harlem to present the CORE Express program for 60 eighth graders. A shorter version of the foundation’s CORE program, the focus allows young Latinas to create a solid foundation through identifying and studying eight “Fig Factors” based on Camacho-Ruiz’s personal memoir “The Fig Factor.” Those “factors” are discovery, wisdom, humility, persistence, vulnerability, vision, awareness and passion.

Activities emphasized on tapping into the positive aspects of life. For example, the students created lists of things they loved to do in order to overcome obstacles and named four people who are the most special to them and pinpointing their leadership traits.

The foundation always encourages its participants to make their dreams come true and, sometimes, helps in that effort. Camacho-Ruiz said that one of the girls would get her graduation expenses and clothing covered.

“We had unprecedented support from the community and the school,” Camacho-Ruiz said. “With girls that age, they think about graduating from school and have a carefree attitude. The girls who participated in the program were so engaged. Even the teachers came up to us and said ‘Wow, we can’t believe this.’”

To make this event possible, the foundation collaborated with New York Edge, a nonprofit that is the largest provider of school-based afterschool programs in the New York City and Metropolitan region.

“It was a pleasure to work with the Fig Factor Foundation in its very first program in New York,” Sarah Sandford, community school director for New York Edge at Don Pedro Albizu Campos School. “We are looking forward for the foundation to expand its program to other New York schools.”

Lucy Pinto, Google’s Diversity Systems & Programs Manager, welcomed the foundation’s presence knowing how it can make a tremendous difference in these students’ lives.

“HOLA - the Hispanic Googler Network - is excited to support the Fig Factor Foundation in empowering young women to pursue their dreams,” Pinto said. “We're delighted to partner with the foundation and promote content that helps young women unleash their power and thrive.”

For more information about the Fig Factor Foundation, visit: http://www.thefigfactor.org/.

About Fig Factor Foundation:
The Fig Factor Foundation’s mission is to become a powerful catalyst for Latinas aged 12 to 25 to pursue their dreams by providing educational leadership platforms, mentorship and powerful experiences through a context of sisterhood. It was founded in September 2014, after six months of hard work to assemble the team, the program, build infrastructure and raise initial funding. Their positive impact was immediately felt at smaller local events and provided the impetus to grow. The foundation’s goal is to implement the program nationwide before expanding globally. Learn more about the foundation at http://www.thefigfactor.org/.

About Google:
Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful. Through products, platforms, and community programs, Google plays a meaningful role in the daily lives of billions of people and has become one of the most widely known companies in the world.

About New York Edge
New York Edge, formerly known as the Sports & Arts in Schools Foundation (SASF), is a non-profit organization and the largest provider of school-based afterschool programs in New York City and the metropolitan region. With more than 26,000 students from over 130 sites in grades K-12, the organization provides under-resourced students with year-round programs to give them the edge needed to succeed. http://www.newyorkedge.org.

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Marie Lazzara
JJR Marketing
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