BROmentum Featured Mentor: Jason Minsky

iMentor’s community is one of a kind, with a wealth of thoughtful volunteers committed to making a positive impact in our students’ lives. In honor of their dedication we highlight many of our volunteer mentors, sharing their perspectives on mentorship and the effect it has had on both them and their mentees. Did you know: in the US, women are 150% more likely to volunteer than men, so here at iMentor we are building BROmentum by recruiting more men to be great mentors to our students. We sat down with a long-time mentor, Jason Minsky, to discuss his experience working with his mentee, Aaron.

iMentor: What drew you to volunteering with iMentor, and what was your first impression of your mentee?
Jason: I have never had a mentor, so I felt that my personal experience and helping my own daughter get into college could be of help to others. Aaron and I hit it off right away. We have a lot of similar interests and immediately had things to talk about to deal with any awkward initial feelings.

iMentor: How did you feel when you first met Aaron?
Jason: I was excited. In many ways it felt like I was talking to one of my daughter’s friends – giving him advice and just having casual conversation about his future and the next Guardians of the Galaxy movie!

iMentor: We match pairs who will be matched for a long time – at 3 to 4 years, it’s not your typical weekend volunteer opportunity. How would you describe how your relationship evolved over time?
Jason: Aaron has been dealt several blows during the past year and this really directed our interaction with one another. I felt like my experience was definitely unique. I feel like Aaron knows he can contact me for any reason, that he has my trust and that I am there for him.

iMentor: I can imagine the growth you’ve seen in Aaron as he developed through high school, but what about yourself? Were there any benefits to you personally that you didn’t expect when you became a mentor?
Jason: I really had no expectations going in, so just establishing the relationship with Aaron has been so positive. When I attend an iMentor event, my family wants to hear about it and how Aaron is doing.

iMentor: To any prospective mentors out there who don’t volunteer yet, what would you tell them about the volunteer experience that they might not know?
Jason: The commitment can seem a bit daunting at first, but the time really goes by fast because you are enjoying what you are doing and can see the difference that the program can make.

iMentor: And finally, if Aaron is reading, what would you say to him about your journey together?
Jason: Aaron has a good head on his shoulders and knows the direction he is headed. He knows I am there for him when needed, but his own exploration will prove to be most valuable in deciding his future.

Interested in becoming a mentor? Register now for an upcoming Mentor Orientation in NYC, Chicago, or the Bay Area!