Wells Fargo donates $5,000 to Center for NonProfit Legal Services to support mentoring program for Hispanics in Medford
MEDFORD — May 25, 1999
Hispanic residents of Jackson County who want to become U.S. citizens will be able to receive help in their English and civic studies from high school students in Medford, thanks to the support of Wells Fargo.
Wells Fargo has given $5,000 to the Center for NonProfit Legal Services in Medford to support its Mentorship Program. The new program matches Anglo student volunteers from North and South Medford High Schools and St. Mary's School with Hispanic immigrants who want to become citizens.
"This program harnesses immigrants' zeal with the high school students' energy to add a stabilizing force to our growing and changing Southern Oregon community," said Debra Lee, executive director of the Center for NonProfit Legal Services. The center is the only organization in Southern Oregon that offers free and low-cost legal immigration services to low-income people and seniors.
Data shows a great need for the Mentorship Program. According to the center, 95 percent of non-citizens in Jackson County are Hispanic. The 1990 Census revealed that 45 percent of Latinos in Southern Oregon are not able to speak English well.
"This mentorship program will help Hispanic immigrants reach their goal of becoming citizens and enable them to become fully engaged members of the Southern Oregon community," said Dick Russell, the market area manager who oversees Wells Fargo's banking operations in Medford. "Wells Fargo believes in partnering with organizations that share our commitment to improving our communities."
The center has used the grant to hire program coordinator Lonnie Wiggs, to build the curriculum, to purchase supplies and to provide refreshments for the participants.
The $5,000 gift is a part of the $300 million that Wells Fargo has committed to donating to its communities over a 10-year period. Since returning to Oregon in 1996, Wells Fargo has donated more than $6 million to non-profit organizations and schools in this state.
The Center for NonProfit Legal Services has assisted low-income residents of Jackson County since 1972. The organization's primary objective is to provide direct legal assistance while, at the same time, educate and empower its clients to understand and assert their rights within the civil justice system.
Founded in 1852, Wells Fargo & Company is a $201 billion diversified financial services company providing banking, insurance, investments, mortgage and consumer finance through almost 6,000 stores and other distribution channels across North America, including all 50 states, and elsewhere internationally.