MetLife has given grant to Big Brothers and Big Sisters seeking to expand the charitable organization’s program connecting concerned baby boomers with young people in need of mentors.

This new $1 million grant is the second phase of a $2.1 million, multiyear partnership, according to BBBS.

BBBS agencies in 25 cities were awarded funding to match new volunteers to thousands of young people in the first stage. In the new phase, they are now focusing their efforts on getting the “Bigs” into school.

Grants recipients are BBBS groups in Washington, D.C.; New York City; Hartford, Conn.; San Diego County, Cal.; Houston; Tampa Bay, Fla.; Charlotte, N.C.; Portland, Ore.; Baltimore; and Tulsa, Okla.

In related news, the Hartford Financial Services Group recently hosted a celebration to mark the 40th anniversary of its community outreach program, STAG (Successful Training-Achieving Goals).

STAG combines summer and after-school employment, classroom training, and mentoring for high-school juniors and seniors to provide emotional and academic support necessary for successful college and professional careers.

Beginning in 1966 in response to the area’s social unrest, STAG has since helped more than 1,600 Hartford high school students get through college. More than 250 former STAG students are currently employed at The Hartford.

According to a company statement, the program works in partnerships with local schools with an ultimate goal of ensuring all city high school graduates are academically prepared for college by 2010.