Mentor Helps Teen Overcome Barrier to Graduation

November 20, 2012 - 7:13pm
Mentor Helps Teen Overcome Barrier to Graduation

Last year, in Trevon’s senior year at Civic Leadership Academy, there was only one thing standing between him and high school graduation—his grade in gym class. Over the previous months, he and his mentor, Greg, Vice President of Risk Management at Citigroup Information Technology, had worked closely together to draft a strong college admissions essay for Trevon’s application to Alfred State SUNY College of Technology. And both were ecstatic when Trevon received his acceptance letter. So when Trevon told Greg that he was in danger of failing one class and repeating the 12th grade, the pair decided that they weren’t going to let this roadblock thwart Trevon’s path to college.

“We couldn’t let the fact that he wasn’t able to get to this one class on time be the reason he wasn’t able graduate,” Greg said. 

Trevon requested a meeting with his guidance counselor and principal to discuss his options. He was given the opportunity to complete two 10-page essays, and he accepted. With the deadline approaching quickly, Trevon traveled to Greg’s office in Manhattan so the two could brainstorm and conduct research for the essays, one of which was about childhood obesity and the other the Olympic Games.    

“Greg encouraged me and helped me find primary sources to include,” Trevon said. “We were working on the essays until about 11 p.m. one night.”  

“It’s Trevon’s persistence and initiative that shows how much he’s growing as a person,” noted Greg.

That persistence paid dividends—Trevon was able to pass the class and receive his high school diploma last spring. “It was a close call—without Greg’s help, I probably would have been in high school for another year.”

As Trevon readied himself for his move to Alfred, New York, Greg stopped by iMentor's office to drop off extra suitcases and a printer for him to take to college. Now, halfway through his first semester as a college student at Alfred State, Trevon is glad to be earning B’s in most of his classes. With Greg, he has set a goal to raise his GPA by half a letter grade each semester. With one year left in iMentor’s program, the two are keeping in touch through Skype and phone calls, and they continue to exchange e-mails once a week through iMentor’s online platform.

Greg, whose youngest daughter is currently going through the college application process and eldest daughter is a college student at Rutgers, says that he was glad to be able to pass on to Trevon much of the same advice he’s given his own children.

“I learned how to navigate the college process with my kids, and I compared his process to the challenges my daughter is facing,” he said. “I tell him to try for everything he wants—because the more you want, the more you get.”

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