A few months ago I began a four-year journey to mentor a young high school freshman named Michael Garcia. Michael and I were matched in a program called iMentor which helps empower students in low-income communities to graduate high school, succeed in college, and achieve their ambitions. Through the iMentor program we email each other every week and meet in person at least once a month.
Michael is an incredible kid; he's driven, smart, and has the biggest heart I've seen in a 14 year old. His dream is to become an engineer and is something I'm committed to help him achieve. Michael and I have very different backgrounds; he comes from a Spanish speaking family and moved to the US five years ago. It was actually only three weeks back that was his father able to join him and his family here in the states. Despite our different upbringings, Michael has this unbelievable way of focusing on our similarities; our common values in family, respect, and honesty.
It's been an amazing experience getting to know Michael and I'm proud to share my experiences as a mentor with you. This year, Michael and I have been working on building our relationship, finding his interests, and goal setting. Even though we've been at it for only a few months, he's already starting to link how his efforts in high school lead to his success later in life.
iMentor’s online and in-person curriculum allows me to help Michael navigate the college preparation process and build critical skills linked to college success. In New York City, iMentor partners with public schools to ensure every student in the school receives a mentor. Since 1999, iMentor has connected 11,000 students in New York City with mentors, and will match more than 2,400 mentor-mentee pairs this year. iMentor also provides its curriculum, technology, and best practices to nonprofits nationwide to help them run effective mentoring programs in the iMentor model.
It costs $1,000 a year to support each pair and ensure they have access to quality programming and resources. By getting involved, you become part of a network of individuals who are making a lasting investment in the life of a high school student.
I ask that you join me on this four year journey to making a lasting difference in Michael's life. My goal is to raise the $1,000 it costs to match Michael and me for this school year.