April 20th marked the first annual B.I.G.G. Hearted Foundation’s “Live B.I.G.G Gala” at the University of Chicago. The foundation, although born out of tragedy, truly is a shining example of what compassion and perseverance looks like. Named after the late DJ BIGG aka Buvern Francisco III, the foundation was created in order to provide financial assistance to low income children with the desire to attend the prestigious Provident St. Mel high school, Francisco’s alma mater, as well as other educational institutions.
“The spark was in BJ’s best friends wife, Rahel Williams, a fellow board member, who came to the family with an urge to do something BIGG” states the foundation’s acting president, Natasha Parker.
The foundation’s launch comes at a time when encouragement for educational endeavors is so desperately needed within our urban community. The latest data on high school dropouts totaled over 3 million, and the current statistics are indicative of this being a growing trend unless a collective effort is initiated.This fact was expounded upon by Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle, who was also in attendance.
” When discussing the availability of resources and how to potentially spark the interest of education with the youth, she stressed that “the adult community involvement” is a proverbial necessity. “There are always opportunities to get involved in the betterment of a child’s life…”
Along with scholarships and other monetary, life lessons are regularly bestowed upon the children who participate in the foundation.
“As a parent, what has worked for my son, is stressing early on from a toddler that education isn’t an option, it’s a requirement. Find a skill or talent that you love and find a way to turn that passion into a financial successful lifestyle. When you love what you do everyday, it’s more than just a career, it’s what you live, a lifestyle. Exceed my dreams with your own.” -Natasha Parker
Another staunch supporter of the foundation is Buvern’s loving sister, Tonya Francisco. When speaking to her, the love for her brother and his foundation was undeniably evident. “My brother wanted to save the world, and I would always say to him you need to focus on the smaller piece, and that fragment will eventually turn into the bigger picture.” The foundation went on to raise over $20,000 that night.
It certainly seems that the small pieces Buvern focused on throughout his short life turned out to be much B.I.G.G.er than he probably could have ever imagined.
For more information on the foundation and how to donate, please visit BiggHeartedFoundation.org.