At first, I was nervous to take on a mentee. It was still strange to think of myself as an adult who can have anything meaningful to say to a 15 year old without sounding cheesy or inexperienced. The best advice I received from an iMentor colleague was "just be real ... high schoolers can tell when you are trying to be someone you're not." Well, naturally I wasn't going to be completely unguarded going into my relationship, however, she was right. The best thing a mentor can do is to get to know their mentee, relate to their interests, and find a way to understand the struggles of a high school student -- all without letting your own struggles and/or priviledges alter your judgment in anyway.
Two mentees later (and a few years under my belt), I can say without a doubt that this experience is one that anyone can benefit from. By merely sharing my story -- as uneventful as I thought it was -- made such an impact on my relationships, and really attests to the phrase "it's the little things that count." My first mentee and I initially to bonded over music and then took on the challenge of 11th grade algebra. My second mentee and I shared stressful stories of college applications and then gabbed away about Glee. I've learned a lot from both of my mentees and watching them grow into college students has been extremely fulfilling.
Donate to this online donor drive and continue iMentor's efforts to match high students with working professionals like myself.
iMentor wrote -
Join iMentor’s Online Donor Drive
The iMentor Online Donor Drive team is a dedicated group of mentors and supporters who join forces to raise awareness and funds to further iMentor’s mission to help students in low-income communities succeed in high school and college. Every year, our team launches this “friendraising campaign” by making individual pages and asking friends, family, and coworkers to give to this cause that means so much to them.
You can join the team that is helping high school students in New York City build a bright future by making a page or donating to one today!
Donor Drive Makes a Difference
Funds raised will help iMentor match 2,400 students with mentors this year. It costs $1,000 for iMentor to provide each mentor-mentee pair with access to quality programming and resources. Every donation you give or raise—whether $10 or $1,000—will make you part of a team that is having a lasting impact on the life of a high school student.
Last year, our Donor Drive team broke our online fundraising record and brought in more than $86,000 for iMentor’s programs. This year we aim to shatter that record, and with your help, raise over $125,000 to support mentor-mentee pairs in New York City.
Why We Do This
“[My mentor] helped me realize that if I want to succeed, I have to do better. She’s helped me learn the steps on how to become a better person and also a better student. I want to succeed.”–Emily, mentee
The donor drive is about Emily, and the thousands of students like her, who have the potential to do great things. Students in low-income communities need the support from mentors to graduate high school and succeed in college. In New York, only 37 percent of all students graduated high school college-ready in 2011. To build college-readiness for students in low-income communities, iMentor matches students with mentors who work with them one-on-one to help them graduate high school, navigate the college application process, and develop critical skills that lead to college success.
Spread the word and get everyone in your network involved in this year’s Online Donor Drive. It’s not every day that you can say you helped change a life, but today can be that day.