Expanding and Implementing the Mentor Pledge
iMentor and Morgan Stanley commit to expanding the Mentor Pledge. iMentor launched the Mentor Pledge in January 2012 in partnership with 10 leading companies that each pledged to recruit 100 of their employees to serve as mentors to students in high schools in low-income communities throughout New York City. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced the pledge in his 2012 State of the City address. These mentors will help students navigate the college application and financial aid processes and build key competencies linked to college success. Companies are also financially supporting iMentor through the pledge.
Through this commitment, Morgan Stanley is doubling its pledge from 100 to 200 mentors, as part of its dedication to ongoing and skills-based volunteering, which leverages the professional expertise and backgrounds of employees to deliver high-impact results. In order to help Morgan Stanley and all Mentor Pledge companies reach their goal, iMentor is committing to implement mentor recruitment and training efforts in collaboration tailored to each company. iMentor will host group recruitment and trainings sessions for employees at the New York City offices of Morgan Stanley and other pledge companies. iMentor will provide each company with access to webinars, written content, multimedia to promote this volunteer opportunity through corporate newsletters, intranets, and emails.
Once volunteers are accepted to the program, iMentor will match each in a same-gender, one-to-one mentoring relationship that lasts up to four years. iMentor will also support all mentor-mentee pairs as they work through iMentor’s college-readiness curriculum. Mentors and mentees will exchange one weekly email on a topic iMentor provides and meet once a month at group events iMentor organizes. iMentor will provide ongoing training opportunities, networking events, and coaching from iMentor staff to all mentors.
When all companies meet their pledge, iMentor will be able to reach an additional 1,100 students in New York City.
June 2012: iMentor implements mentor recruitment efforts with Morgan Stanley and all partnering organizations. These efforts include hosting information sessions, providing multimedia resources and a communications toolkit for intranets and other internal communications channels, and helping current employee volunteers reach out to colleagues.
August 2012: Volunteers complete mentor training. iMentor will host mentor training sessions on-site at Morgan Stanley offices, and the offices of other partner organizations.
September 2012: Volunteers are matched with students at iMentor’s partner schools
Sept 2012-May 2013: Mentors and mentees exchange emails once a week and meet in person once a month at group mentoring events-all based on iMentor’s online and in-person curriculum.
June 2013: Mentor recruitment and training efforts restart for 2013/2014 academic year
September 2013: New volunteers are matched with students at iMentor’s partner schools. Volunteers from previous year continue their multi-year matches or begin new mentoring relationships.
Sept 2013-May 2014: Mentors and mentees exchange emails once a week and meet in person once a month at group mentoring events-all based on iMentor’s online and in-person curriculum.
Only 61% of students from low-income communities graduate high school and a mere 33% enroll in post-secondary education-statistics that are at least 10% under the rates for all students in the United States. The employment prospects for these students are dwindling fast, as 63% of jobs will require some college by 2018. To put more low-income students on track for success, they need more than just academics. They must have individualized support to help them develop soft skills-such as resilience, communication, critical thinking, and social capital building-that propel them toward achievement in college and the workforce. These competencies are especially critical, and especially lacking, for students in underperforming schools and low-income communities. High school guidance counselors are overstretched and under resourced, often lacking the ability to give every student individualized attention. Recent studies have shown that the average ratio of students to college counselors is 500 to 1. There is a critical need for a new model for college-readiness that provides individualized support to every student in the school and focuses on the social and emotional factors that contribute to academic engagement and college success. Mentoring programs that work in collaboration with schools to address targeted college success outcomes can provide students the individualized support they need to develop these skills and navigate the college application process.
iMentor worked with Morgan Stanley and all 10 commitment partners to recruit, train, and match mentors with students for the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 academic years. These mentors made three and four year commitments to their students. To do this, beginning in June 2012, iMentor implemented mentor recruitment efforts with Morgan Stanley and all 10 partnering organizations. These efforts included hosting information sessions, providing multimedia resources and a communications toolkit for intranets and other internal communications channels, and helping current employee volunteers reach out to colleagues. iMentor conducted training sessions for all mentors recruited from its corporate partners. Once training was complete, volunteers were matched with students at iMentor partner high schools in New York City. Mentors and mentees exchange emails once a week and meet in person once a month at group mentoring events-all based on iMentor’s online and in-person curriculum. These mentors are working to support their mentees to develop critical skills for college success and to navigate the college application process.
iMentor is seeking additional companies or organizations to join the Mentor Pledge by recruiting their college-educated employees, members, or other constituents to become mentors. iMentor asks these companies and organizations to also commit financial resources to help pay for the cost of providing free mentoring services to students.
iMentor is also seeking nonprofit and school partners across the country who are interested in implementing mentoring programs in their communities using the iMentor model, technology tools, and consulting services.