For the past year, I've been working with Michael through the iMentor program, which an organization that serves high school students from under-served communities, with an emphasis on students of color and recent immigrants. iMentor matches adult volunteers one-on-one with high school students (mentees) based on shared academic, career or personal interests. The goal of iMentor is to ensure students graduate high school college-bound and that they succeed once they are there.
Michael is currently a sophomore at Juan Morel Campos in Brooklyn. We exchange emails weekly and try to meet up about once a month either at his school or the iMentor office. Michael is bright and self motivated, however, he has his work cut out for him as 89% of students at Juan Morel Campos are first generation college students, the average GPA is 79/100 and the average SAT score is 788/1600.
With the help of iMentor, student like Michael have an improved chance of graduating high school and attending college. The statistics speak for themselves.
- 83%of iMentor mentees graduated from high school (compared to NYC rate of 61%)
- 74% of mentees were accepted into college (compared to the national rate of 33%)
This year iMentor seeks to expand to 2,400 matches. Each match costs $1000 to maintain, and although iMentor is well respected and receives grants from prestigious foundations, those grants are not enough. The Online Donor drive is a crucial fundraising activity.
In January of 2012, Mayor Bloomberg recognized iMentor in his State of the City address, as iMentor partnered with 10 companies in NYC that pledged to recruit 100 employees to join as mentors (Accenture, Barclays, Bloomberg LP, Citi, Deutsche Bank, Ernst & Young LLC, Goldman Sachs, Marsh & McLennan, Morgan Stanley, and UBS).
Created in 1999 by John Griffin, founder of Blue Ridge Capital, and two public interest lawyers, Richard Buery and Matt Klein, iMentor began with 49 students in a single school in the South Bronx.
To learn more about iMentor, visit www.imentor.org
Want to learn more? Check out what it takes to become a mentor.