Mentor of the Month
When Edward, an executive director at UBS Investment Bank, moved to the U.S. from Australia a few years ago, he was looking for a way to get more actively involved in the New York City community. While meeting John Griffin, iMentor’s founder and board chair, Edward learned about iMentor’s flexible volunteer opportunity that offers busy professionals a way to give back and to network with other mentors in the program. It sounded like a perfect fit.
In 2009, iMentor matched Edward with Nicholas, who was then a freshman at the Urban Assembly School for Careers in Sports. Edward, though initially nervous about how much they’d be able to relate to one another, quickly found common ground with the teen.
“I vividly remember the first time I met him in his school’s gym,” said Edward. “Nicholas was open about how important his family is to him, and that’s very similar to me. I have a big family that I’m very close to.”
Throughout their four-year partnership in iMentor’s College Ready program Edward has worked with Nicholas to strengthen his writing skills and get to his classes on time. Nicholas, who had been struggling academically, slowly but surely began to pass more of his exams, giving him the confidence he needed to become more proactive about planning his future.
“He’s gotten to a point where he takes a lot of pride in his schoolwork and does try very hard,” said Edward. “Seeing his career goals develop and his attitude toward his schoolwork develop has been very pleasing to me.”
With one year left to go in their match, the pair plans on working together over the next few months to solidify Nicholas’s post-graduation plans, as he is on track to receive his high school diploma this spring. With his eye on joining the United States Marine Corps, Nicholas is excited about what lies ahead for him.
Though Edward knows he has been instrumental in helping Nicholas reach important milestones during his high school career and cultivate a more positive mindset, he says that their relationship has changed his life and outlook as well.
“At times I think I get more out of this than Nicholas does,” said Edward. “My involvement in the program is one of the best stress relievers for me on bad days. When I see him, it makes my own worries seem far less important.”