Blog Post

Meet a few of our mentor 2.0 partners: Part 2

iMentor partners with other non-profits to run our college success mentoring model in their local communities. Our partners have access to our proprietary platform, our curriculum, and our best practices that support students as they transition from high school to college.

One such partnership is with Big Brothers Big Sisters. Through our partnership, 13 BBBS agencies serving 16 different cities run mentor 2.0, which is a localized version of the iMentor program that is managed and executed by BBBS staff.

Hanh Tran, our Managing Director of Partner Programs, sat down with a few of our partners to discuss how their communities have benefited from our partnership, and how the mentor 2.0 program has grown for each of them. Kara Finger, Vice President of Programs from BBBS East Tennessee; Cara Amato and Amanda Frisco, both mentor 2.0 Program Coordinators from BBBS Independence Region; Michael McElroy, Manager of School Based Programs from BBBS Independence Region; Marie Logan, the CEO from BBBS of Southern Arizona; David Simpson, the COO from BBBS of Southern Arizona; and Denise Burruel, a Program Manager from BBBS of Southern Arizona, all virtually got together to chat. If you missed our first conversation, you can catch up and read that here

Hanh: Now that you’re all launched, what sets mentor 2.0 apart from your other programs? 

Michael McElroy: We love the curriculum iMentor provides. Matches in our other programs can sometimes hit a wall once they’ve broken the ice and gotten to know each other a bit. But mentor 2.0 provides a four-year plan for matches to embark on a journey together. We’ve received a lot of positive feedback from mentors and mentees that they enjoy the in-person and online activities, and that it really helps them get to know each other, even with limited time to connect each week and month. 

Denise Burruel: We serve high school students in our other community-based programming, but in the mentor 2.0 program, we get the opportunity to deliver a curriculum that focuses on soft skills and college readiness for the student. The mentor 2.0 format allows us to be more intentional and deliberate with our high school graduation outcomes. 

Kara Finger: This program offers directions for our mentors. In providing a step-by-step guide, mentors do not feel as pressured to create content, so it eases their anxiety around mentorship. mentor 2.0 is also very targeted and with intent. The outcomes of this program are more tangible and data-driven, making them measurable.

Hanh: Overall, how has your community reacted or responded to the program? 

Amanda Frisco: All staff involved with the mentor 2.0 program at our school partner, Parkway, have been supportive of the program since its inception last school year. This support attributed to the success during this first year. The mentees shared often how they enjoyed having the chance to work on activities with their mentors in-person at the monthly events the most. The mentors were incredibly engaged and consistent in communicating with their mentees online. Our mentors gave positive feedback on the content of the online lessons, and they really appreciated having the Conversations feature available to them, especially the Conversations phone app! The mentors’ willingness to communicate with their mentees outside of the lessons, was a huge factor in the development of a lot of the matches relationships their first year! 

Marie Logan: Our community has really been excited about the program. Overall, we have had great support from community partners and volunteers. There are several schools that would love to see the program continue to grow! 

Kara Finger: Because a program like this was needed, we have received a lot of positive feedback from our community. We consistently hear how impactful the youth-centered aspect of mentor 2.0 is. Mentors tell us that they love how flexible the program is, like how they can tailor mentorship to their schedule. This allows the busiest people, who otherwise would not have time, to become mentors. mentor 2.0 has also been a catalyst for fundraising! Donors and community are excited to see our agency innovate, and they want to financially support this novel approach to mentoring.

Read our third and final part of this conversation next week! If you’re interested in bringing the mentor 2.0 program to your community, submit a partner program application today! You can contact us at [email protected]learn more about our partnerships or apply to be a partner here