Driving Innovation in Mentoring

iMentor Awarded $150,000 Contribution from AT&T for Mobile App to Help Students Succeed

AT&T is teaming up with iMentor, a national non-profit whose commitment is in its tagline, "Every student deserves a champion." For more than 16 years, iMentor has leveraged technology and one-on-one mentoring relationships to help students navigate high school, succeed in college, and go on to achieve their ambitions. As part of its commitment to helping students realize their fullest potential, AT&T contributed $150,000 to iMentor to fund the development and piloting of a mobile app, which will enhance mentor-mentee communication and engagement within the program. The support is part of AT&T Aspire, the company’s signature philanthropic initiative that drives innovation in education to help students succeed in school and beyond.

iMentor is growing to serve more students in New York, Chicago and the San Francisco Bay Area. The organization partners with local non-profits, a host of corporations and foundations, and school districts to make a difference for every student in every school it serves. iMentor recognizes the import of developing new technology tools to effectively run a quality program. The goal of the mobile strategy is to provide iMentor’s students, mentors and public high schools access to the highest quality resources and programming to ensure that more students succeed in college and beyond.

A key component of iMentor's program model is the holistic approach that mentors take to understand the individual talents, aspirations, and challenges of their mentees. Mentors are therefore equipped to provide a level of personalized support beyond what would typically be achieved by traditional school counseling alone. iMentor's college success curriculum and secure technology platform allow mentor-mentee pairs to engage in safe, structured activities and conversations that build the interpersonal skills necessary for success in college and life. The new app will complement existing tools, providing an alternative space for mentors and students to connect and communicate organically in ways that reinforce their relationship.

“We look forward to collaborating with AT&T to strengthen iMentor’s ability to be an effective, scalable, and national solution for increasing the college readiness and success rates of our students” says iMentor’s CEO Mike O’Brien. “With a mobile app, we hope to see the volume of communication between our mentors and mentees increase dramatically. It will allow our pairs to communicate in a way that is convenient and common place in today’s digital world.”

“When mentors connect with young people, both are changed for the better. And when you introduce technology into the equation, they can connect in new ways,” says Nicole Anderson, assistant vice president of Social Innovation at AT&T. “iMentor’s mobile app will provide students and mentors with anytime, anywhere access to connect with one another and develop a strong relationship that will help even more students achieve a bright future.”

Together, iMentor and AT&T are driving innovation in mentoring to help first-generation college students graduate at higher rates.