Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

iMentor builds mentoring relationships that empower first-generation students from historically marginalized communities to graduate high school, succeed in college and career, and achieve their ambitions.

We partner with high schools in which a majority of students will be first-generation college students, and we match every student in a school with a college-educated mentor who commits to supporting a student for two years in high school and two years in a post-secondary setting. The final two years are flexible and virtual, and mentoring pairs have the option to continue their relationship through college completion.

You can get involved with iMentor in many ways--we would love your support as we work together to improve college success rates for first-generation students. If you would like to volunteer with iMentor, you can become a mentor. If you're interested in bringing iMentor to your high school, you can learn more about that here. If you would like to give a gift to iMentor, you can learn about various ways to do that here

Becoming a Mentor

Mentors undergo an extensive screening process before being accepted into the program. All mentors must complete background checks, fingerprinting, and reference checks. The safety of our participants is our number one priority.

Mentors must also meet the following requirements:
- Be 21 years or older
- Live and/or work in the geographic area
- Be available for in-person events with students once a month.

Mentors commit to the following:
- A match of two years in college and two years in a post-secondary setting; the latter two years are flexible and may be virtual.
- Communicating online with their mentee at least once a week, and meeting in-person with their mentee at least once a month

At iMentor, we match our volunteer mentors with students who are typically under 18 years of age. To ensure that all of our mentors are safe, appropriate, and consistent adults, each volunteer goes through a rigorous multi-step screening process before being introduced to a student.

Our screening process includes completing an online application, attending a group orientation session, a 30-minute telephone interview, fingerprinting and background check and personal/professional reference checks.

We endeavor to complete each mentor’s screening in 30 days from orientation attendance. Delays in background checks or reference checks can extend the screening period.

To protect the rigor and integrity of our screening process, we do not share specific screening criteria nor do we share the reasons that a person may or may not be accepted into our program.

You can address additional questions to Jacqueline Gurgui, Associate Director of Mentor Screening at [email protected].

Donating to iMentor

Yes. When you give a gift to iMentor you can choose which regional program to fund. If you have no preference, your donation will be used to support all of iMentor's programming. 

The iMentor Model

iMentor has developed a safe, secure, closed technology platform that facilitates communication between mentors, mentees, and staff. The iMentor Platform includes comprehensive tools for mentors and mentees to foster strong relationships as well as a set of tools for staff to manage, monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the mentoring program. The tools include online applications and enrollment process, a mentor-mentee matching algorithm, secure online communication system, real-time program data, and program evaluation tools. iMentor offers full technology maintenance and support

With college completion as our ultimate outcome, we have defined and measure the following long term outcomes that are necessary for our participants to achieve in order attain a college degree. These include:
- High school graduation
- College enrollment
- College persistence

Our short-term outcomes are what we believe to be important levers for our program participants to achieve prior to reaching the more distant outcomes listed above. These include:
- Developing strong personal relationships
- Nurturing a college aspiration
- Building critical non-cognitive skills that lead to college success
- Navigating the post-secondary process

We collect the data necessary to measure these outcomes by implementing yearly pre, interim, and post surveys for program participants, tracking participant performance using our online platform, and requesting data from our school partners. We use this data to measure and assess program quality and to inform programmatic decisions that may influence outcomes for our participants. 

Corporate Partners

We would love to host you and have you see our program in action. Please contact Celine Patel

Thank you for wanting to get move involved! Please visit our Corporate Partners page to learn more about the ways your company can support iMentor.

Partner Programs

We currently partner with 17 organizations serving students in 19 cities across the country. Click here to learn more about our partners.

iMentor direct service sites are locations in which the program is led and executed by iMentor staff. iMentor develops and manages the school partnerships, recruits, screens and trains mentors, and facilitates programming within the schools. There are currently iMentor direct service sites located in New York City, Chicago, the Bay Area, California.

iMentor’s Partner Programs bring our highly-effective, nationally-recognized mentoring model to communities across the country. We partner with organizations that share iMentor’s goal of increasing college success for low-income students, and provide these partner organizations with the tools, resources and supports to launch and implement the iMentor model in schools in their communities. iMentor’s Partner Programs receive access to all aspects of the iMentor model, including our college success curriculum, technology platform, mentor training and screening materials, and program evaluation and analysis tools along with extensive coaching from iMentor staff. The organizations we partner with then lead and execute the program on the ground in their cities, including recruiting, screening and training mentors with consultation from iMentor.

No. Each organization is responsible for recruiting, screening, and training their volunteers. iMentor assists organizations by sharing advice, case studies and best practices to help ensure the success of your mentor recruitment.

iMentor recruits mentors willing to make an initial 2 year commitment to a single student. After this initial commitment, all pairs have the option to extend their relationship through college completion. To date the majority of iMentor’s mentors get involved through corporate partnerships, though we see significant promise in the involvement of other organizations. iMentor provides significant resources for mentor pipeline recruitment and has built a model that mentors — and their employers — find satisfying and feasible.

The primary funding streams that partners have accessed to support iMentor have been corporate partnerships and local foundation support. In both cases, the iMentor program model – with its rigorous outcome-focused approach to post-secondary outcomes – has enabled partners to inaugurate new and grow existing local, state and national funding sources targeted at post-secondary attainment, mentoring, education, and workforce development.

For funders interested in youth development and/or mentoring, our tangible focus on college access and success makes iMentor unique, and within the education and college success realm, our one-to-one approach through mentoring along with the whole school model have also been compelling to funders. In addition to providing funds, corporations have been a significant source of mentors. The combination of flexibility through online mentor-mentee communication (versus a sole reliance on in-person meetings) coupled with the structure and guidance that our model offers, provide meaningful employee engagement opportunities for busy professionals. We also strongly encourage our non-school district partners to secure designated funds through school districts and/or partner schools.

Learn more about how iMentor supports your fundraising efforts.

iMentor will assess each organization's application against a set a criteria to determine the organization's readiness and suitability to enter into a partnership with iMentor.

Learn more about our selection criteria.

iMentor Partners are asked to sign a 2.5 year renewable contract. The initial contract period includes an onboarding and planning phase of 6 months at minimum and 2 full years of programming. Partnership fees for the contract period total $140K paid over that timeframe.

The iMentor partnership fees provide access to all aspects of the iMentor model and

comprehensive support, including our college success curriculum, technology platform, mentor recruitment, training and screening materials, program evaluation and analysis tools, in-person training and site visits, as well as the ongoing coaching of a dedicated iMentor Partnership Manager.

Learn more about the costs associated with becoming an iMentor Partner Program as well as the resources we provide to support your fundraising efforts.

Our partnerships are renewable. Partners are encouraged to continue to partner with iMentor to manage and grow their programs and are given continued support and access to iMentor’s college success curriculum, technology platform, Learning Center, and evaluation resources for a $35,000 annual fee.

Send us an email! We’re happy to answer any questions you might have about partnering with iMentor. You can reach us at [email protected].

Research & Evaluation

iMentor has made a specific commitment to be a data-driven, learning organization.   Achieving those goals is not possible without a Research and Evaluation Team to shepherd that work.  We believe that rigorously collecting data, analyzing it, and sharing it internally and externally is the best way to improve our services and help our students earn college degrees.  Our goal is to use data to learn from the experiences of our students, mentors, and other stakeholders in the program in order to provide the highest quality service to our students and mentors, as well as support them in achieving the goals of the program.  We believe that understanding and representing their experience can significantly and positively impact students, our staff, and others college success organizations. 

The Research and Evaluation team provides data and analysis to stakeholders throughout the organization to help them achieve strategic, programmatic, and individual goals.  We assist our Development Team in reporting key programmatic outcomes, help our programmatic leadership understand program health, and direct service staff understand pair participation and outcomes in order to provide higher quality support. We also conduct and share analyses to learn more about the effectiveness of the iMentor program.  Finally, we seek out opportunities to share what we’re learning with the larger mentoring and college access communities through presentations at conferences and participation in working groups. We’ve presented our work at the National Mentoring Summit, the American Educational Research Association (AERA), and the National College Access Network (NCAN).  We also collaborate with the NYC Student Success Network (NYC SSN).

The Research and Evaluation Team’s main focus is tracking iMentor’s short and long-term outcomes, as well as key elements of program execution.  For more information on what these are, see an overview of our program model. We also collect data on who the program serves, feedback on their experiences in our program, and feedback around new programmatic initiatives. The main sources of data collection come from our iMentor platform where pairs communicate, surveys we administer, as well as data our staff collect related to the quality of the implementation and outcomes we hope to achieve.

Send us an email!  We’re happy to answer any questions you might have about our work. You can reach us at [email protected].