Recruit a Mentor and #ChooseConnection

Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, the students we serve were already among the individuals who were most vulnerable and least supported by our country’s systems. As they now face more difficult challenges due to the current crisis, many are connecting virtually with their mentors for support. iMentor continues to uplift these students with a model that allows for connecting across difference as well as safely across distance.

This week we launch our #ChooseConnection mentor recruitment campaign. We plan to sign on 2,000 new mentors in Baltimore, the Bay Area, Chicago, and New York City for fall 2020. Throughout May, we will be asking all current mentors to invite friends and colleagues to become mentors and join our mission of educational equity.

Please check out our recruitment website, share our social media posts and toolkit, and help us find amazing mentors for more than 2,000 students this fall.

To learn more about the recruitment effort, we spoke with Sylvia Wong, iMentor’s director of Mentor Community, about this work.

Why did iMentor launch the Mentor Community?

With 20 years on the ground matching students with mentors to help them achieve their ambitions, we wanted to formally recognize our mentors as a collective body to show gratitude for their incredible dedication and to provide further opportunities for them to get involved. Two years ago, we launched Mentor Community in each of our regions so that mentors could attend social events, learn more about educational inequity issues, recruit high-quality mentors, and contribute financially to help advance iMentor’s mission.  

We believe that together, we can make a greater impact to close the equity gaps for the students we serve.

How can our Mentor Community help drive recruitment?

Most of our mentors say they come to iMentor through their company or a referral from a colleague or friend. Mentors have always played an important part in sharing their mentoring experience with others and inviting them to join iMentor. Currently, we need to recruit 2,000 new mentors across four regions to ensure that every student in our partner schools are matched this fall. For the first time, because of COVID-19, we need to do this all virtually.  

We know that personal outreach is really key in recruiting new mentors, and it’s more important now than ever. Mentors know firsthand what it takes to be a mentor and the needs that our students have. They’re the best advocates to share iMentor’s work and to invite others to join.   

Our Mentor Community can help this recruiting season by personally inviting others in their network to become a mentor, introducing their company or a community partner (affinity group, alumni network, churches, etc.) to iMentor for partnership, and simply spreading the word on social channels. We’ve created a new resource page for mentors to easily do all that:

What is the challenge and opportunity of recruiting mentors in the middle of a pandemic?

A lot of people are looking for opportunities to help now. That's an opportunity for us to invite them to join iMentor. The students who need mentors are faced with even greater challenges due to COVID—trying to navigate the college path in the absence of being in school, with other challenges that might be impacting their families. For these students, having a personal champion is more relevant and more needed now than ever before.

I think it's a huge opportunity for our current mentors to share their story and invite others to volunteer and be part of iMentor’s work.

In the face of extreme disruption and isolation, sustaining and affirming connections will continue to be foundational in getting us through this crisis and to a better place on the other side. We’re so grateful to our mentors for their dedication and support to our students and to the success of our program in years to come. Their investment of time, talent, and treasure will change future trajectories in the lives of so many students across the country.

This is the power of our Mentor Community. We know that together, we will be able to continue to meet the needs of the students we serve and match every young person in our program with a champion this school year.

We believe connections can affirm, support, and uplift. Mentor a student who will thrive with your support. Apply today.