Now in my 4th year with iMentor, I'm more excited than ever to support the organization and tell you a little about my experience with my mentee, Gabriel. Take a minute, read my story, hit my Finnish link, and then donate!
Gabriel is a senior at the Urban Assembly School for Performing Arts on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. The guy is a true mover and shaker, a bona fide hitter: he juggles classes, ROTC, his own Caribbean dance company, hours on the subway daily, and great friendships. He aspires to be the first from his family to attend college and we are working together to jump through all of the necessary hoops. When Gabe and I get together, he fills me in on the latest high school gossip (what's hot, what's not), we compare Twitter feeds, and we each showcase our dance moves: his being a classically trained, Caribbean-inspired piece of art, mine being a techno-infused, flailing of appendages that results in small rotator cuff tears.
Antics aside, Gabriel is MAXIMIZING the relationships, programs, and opportunities at his disposal. NYC public high schools get terrible publicity, but there are thousands of ambitious and intelligent students whose experiences are augmented by iMentor.
I think there’s an alarming trend in education towards privatization and early-age entrance competition that’s epitomized by Manhattan’s charter and magnet schools. I’d love to discuss in detail with anyone who’s interested, but I personally believe that a strong, public school system is one of America’s greatest assets. iMentor has partnered with dozens of public high schools in NYC to provide a platform for mentoring, to enhance curriculum, and to advocate for the public school teachers and students of New York City. If you have a chance, check out this article discussing the success of Finland’s public school system: http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2011/12/what-americans-keep-ignoring-about-finlands-school-success/250564/
If you have a couple bucks to donate, I’d be happy to match every dollar. If donating is not in the cards for you right now, no worries at all!
Thanks for taking the time to read my email and keep me in the loop on any causes or projects in which you are active.