iMentor - 25 Years of Mentoring Moments

The Magic of Mentoring:

Celebrating 25 Years of Mentoring Moments

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As iMentor celebrates its 25th anniversary, I am proud of the accomplishments that our students, mentors, partners, and staff have achieved together. The future holds even more mentoring moments – first pair meetings, more college graduations, and more career launchpads. I am inspired for us to continue this journey together.
Dr. Heather D. Wathington, Chief Executive Officer of iMentor
Dr. Heather D. Wathington
Chief Executive Officer

Our Beginning Moment

iMentor was founded in 1999 by John Griffin, founder of Blue Ridge Capital, and two public-interest lawyers, Richard Buery and Matt Klein, who believed in the power of mentoring and the impact of providing young people with equitable access to a college education. Over the past 25 years, we’ve expanded to three regions, 23 partner programs, and served over 42,000 students.

See Our Impact

iMentor demonstrates positive outcomes in the lives of our mentees and mentors – fostering success through college degrees, career pathways, and fulfilling relationships.
10000 +
Students mentored
0 %
of iMentor students who applied were accepted into college
10000 +
Volunteer mentors

nearly 1 in 5 mentors return to mentor again

3 %
of iMentor students shared their mentor helped them set career goals
100000 +
Mentoring moments
1 %
of mentors say they know more about equity & education issues because of iMentor

Mentoring Moments

Milestone Moments

Moments from

New York City

iMentor NYC expanded from a single school in the Bronx with 49 mentees to 11 partner schools. It serves 3,000 students each year and has become the largest mentoring organization that partners with NYC public schools. Throughout its growth, iMentor NYC has fostered several impactful corporate partnerships, including Citi, PWC, EY, and Morgan Stanley, which have cultivated hundreds of employees as mentors and board members.

iMentor NYC
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iMentor is founded in 1999
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iMentor Partner Programs launch in 2007
Moments from

Partner Programs

In our efforts to reach young people everywhere, iMentor launched Partner Programs in 2007 to support non-profit organizations to build their capacity. Since then, we have partnered with 84 organizations to impact the lives of 18,000+ students in local communities across the country.

Moments from

Chicago

iMentor Chicago launched in 2015, focusing on serving young people on the South and West sides. It was awarded William Blair’s Chicago Community Partner Award, providing $200K in seed funding for their Next Gen Leaders career pathways work. In 2022, iMentor Chicago launched their 5th school partner within the district and secured their first million-dollar donation to enhance career connected learning for students. iMentor Chicago now serves over 1,000 high school students each year.
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iMentor Chicago launches in 2015
Icon of Bay Area skyline
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iMentor Bay Area launches in 2016
Moments from

Bay Area

iMentor Bay Area launched in 2016. Over the past seven years iMentor Bay Area has proudly served more than 1,300 students in Oakland and San Jose.

Moments from

Baltimore

iMentor Baltimore launched in 2019, serving over serving over 200 students in its initial year and matching its 300th mentor in 2022. iMentor Baltimore recently celebrated its five-year anniversary with Governor Wes Moore and First Lady Dawn Moore to commemorate its commitment to serving the youth of Maryland.

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iMentor Baltimore launches in 2019

Our Celebration Moment

Save the Date:

Champions Dinner

November 13, 2024

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 5th Ave
New York, NY 10028

Join Us

We believe in the power of mentorship. Over the next ten years we aim to ensure all first-generation college students have a mentor to support them. Join us today and make more mentoring moments happen!
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Our Mentors

Gabby + Ashanty

Gabby describes herself as a person who is driven by relationships and forming connections with others. Upon hearing about iMentor through her employer Salesforce in New York, she was sold on the opportunity to work with high school students. Upon meeting her mentee Ashanty, Gabby took a “come as you are” approach to mentoring – meeting Ashanty where she was with her post-high school planning and finding out what motivates her.

“iMentor believes that every student should have a mentor, regardless of background or post-secondary pathway, and I believe in the organization’s mission to close the opportunity gap and support thousands of first-generation, underrepresented students like me.”

For Gabby, mentorship is a fundamental resource that everyone should have access to, especially young people who are transitioning into adulthood. A mentor is more than someone who shares advice about what direction a person should take. “Mentorship means the ability to trust and confide in someone who not only is a role model, but who has your best interest [in mind],” she says. “Coaching you, challenging you, and when times are tough, reminding you of who you are and what you’re made of.”

Gabby’s relationship with Ashanty has given her insight into the kind of impact she can have on a person’s life. She looks forward to their journey into Ashanty’s senior year and seeing her mentee grow. “Sometimes I find that I walk away from our conversations being so much more similar than we are different,” Gabby reflects. “Watching her feel proud of herself and excited for herself – it is a very rewarding feeling.”

Our Mentors

Adrian + Demonte

Adrian is a mentor from Chicago. When he was young, he knew that he wanted to attend college, but college was not the norm in his neighborhood. Living in a single-parent household, Adrian relied on his mother, friends, family, and high school teachers to provide extra guidance. He felt blessed to have the support of his mentors to give him the opportunity to graduate from college and continue to earn a master’s degree.

Adrian pays it forward with his own mentee Demonte, showing him how to embrace challenges and seek more for himself. “My mentors have been so impactful throughout my life. This is why I aspire to be a positive role model for someone like me in Chicago,” Adrian says. “I want to be instrumental to my mentee’s success.”

In addition to being a mentor, Adrian uses his other passions to raise awareness for iMentor’s mission. He ran the Paris Marathon as part of the iMentor Challenge, an annual fundraising campaign led by mentors. He exceeded his fundraising goal, thanks to the support of his community.

“I wanted to leverage a unique opportunity to support a nonprofit organization that I am passionate about and expand the visibility of the organization,” he remarks.

“iMentor believes that every student should have a mentor, regardless of background or post-secondary pathway, and I believe in the organization’s mission to close the opportunity gap and support thousands of first-generation, underrepresented students like me.”

Our Students

Nykia + Essence

Nykia and Essence are a mentoring pair from Baltimore who connected in 2021. Nykia always knew that she wanted to go to college, and she and her mentor Essence tackled the lengthy (and sometimes complicated) process together.

A crucial role that Essence played in their mentorship was to be a sounding board. She would listen to whatever was on Nykia’s mind – whether about school or her personal life – as a way to build the bond between them and offer advice when needed.

“She gave me a lot of advice of how college might go and how certain things might not go the way I want,” Nykia says. “I’m glad she’s a person in my life that I could count on and trust.”

Although Nykia was very proactive throughout the college process, there were still aspects of college life that she could not research on her own. She relied on Essence to talk through different factors, such as campus size, tuition costs, and personal experiences in college before making a decision. Most notably, the duo made a plan on how to cover the costs to Stevenson University by applying to scholarships and talking to the school and state aid. Nykia is now enrolled at Stevenson as a business administration major with a full ride!

The trust between Nykia and Essence flourishes as Nykia embarked on her freshman year of college. They both have high hopes for Nykia as she goes through her college journey.

Our Students

Melissa + Stephanie

Melissa and Stephanie from NYC are one of the many close-knit mentorships that iMentor has fostered throughout its 25 years. Melissa met Stephanie in 2012 as a shy and quiet high school junior. Even so, it didn’t take long for her to warm up to her mentor. “She was so welcoming and inviting,” Melissa says. “At one point we stopped talking about the [assignment] and she started talking about what we can do to help me.”

Melissa knew she had a special mentor when she felt comfortable enough to reach out to her after their formal iMentor program had ended. In college, Melissa sought advice about transferring schools and relied on Stephanie’s guidance. Being able to offer that advice was a memorable moment for Stephanie because it demonstrated the strength of their relationship. “You hope that you’re building that connection. When you feel that you’re actually able to do that, it feels special,” she says.

As the years went on, Melissa and Stephanie’s relationship evolved from asking for advice to becoming peers. When Stephanie prepared to take a leave from her position in corporate social responsibility at EY, she immediately thought of Melissa to fill in on her team. Melissa felt apprehensive but gained confidence to take the role because of the confidence that Stephanie had in her. The position allowed her to expand her professional network to leverage for future roles. “I would have never known that this was a job unless someone was there to give me that opportunity,” Melissa says.

Melissa reflects on the value that having a mentor like Stephanie has had on her life. It has been over ten years since their first meeting, and she now feels more equipped to speak up and be a leader. She is glad she put in the effort to nurture her relationship with Stephanie.

“She’s a role model. She genuinely wants what is best for me,” Melissa says. “I’m very blessed that iMentor brought us together.”