Blog Post

Who run the world? Girls!

“Who run the world?” “Girls!”

That’s the rallying cry you can hear echoing in the cafeteria at iMentor’s newest partner school in New York City, The Urban Assembly School of Business for Young Women. The Urban Assembly is a network of nonprofit schools whose mission is to empower underserved youth by providing them with academic and life skills necessary for postsecondary success. Our shared goal of supporting diverse student bodies makes UA an excellent iMentor partner. Like most iMentor partner schools, a majority of the student body qualifies for free or reduced-price lunch. In our first year together, we’re working with the entire junior class, the Class of 2019.  

“In terms of impact,” shares Principal Minaya, “I think that having iMentor has provided an opportunity for the students to dive deeper into specific topics that are related to college and career readiness. In the past, when we didn't have the program, we were only able to offer this to the 12th graders. Starting a year earlier and being able to support the girls earlier has impacted the college-going culture in a positive way. A lot of the students in this specific cohort have been college-bound, but now I can say the entire group is determined and excited about applying to colleges next year.” 

Principal Minaya speaking with pairs at the February 2018 event

The Urban Assembly School of Business for Young Women sits in the heart of the NYC Financial District; if you walk a few blocks you will find yourself at the New York Stock Exchange. Many of iMentor’s corporate partners also share this zip code with the school. iMentor volunteers provide a bridge between the world of business and the students who attend the school. 

Students Shakira and Suejona agreed on the value of mentors “It’s so important for us to have a role model to see, to be connected to black women who are successful and can guide us.” Both students have mentors who work for large finance firms, but both mentors also stay involved in the community. Suejona’s mentor, Chanel, recently brought Suejona to a Black History event that she organized at her offices at Goldman Sachs. Shakira’s mentor, Mandy, started Official Black Wall Street, the largest platform that hosts black owned businesses. These incredible women were thoughtfully paired with the students at Urban Assembly. Program Manager Edlyn shares some of her logic in matching the students at Urban Assembly, “I believe that a cohort of all young women of color deserve a mentor pool that is just as diverse as they are.”

Edlyn’s admiration of her mentors goes beyond their similarities to her students. “I have the most amazing group of women as mentors! These mentors truly believe that the future is female and believe in the potential of their mentees. The mentors in this cohort have advocated for and supported their mentees as they get into SAT prep programs, have provided ACT/SAT prep books for their mentees, have stood outside of Chipotle as they open their doors to get their mentees their favorite meal! I mean come on! They're awesome women!” 

The Urban Assembly school is iMentor NYC’s 14th partner school. Including their cohort of students, we are now serving 3,678 students across the city. If you'd like to get more involved and make more opportunities like these possible, contact Celine Patel.