Growing the Mentor Community in Chicago

“What’s it like to work with a high school student?”
“How do you fit mentoring in to your schedule?”

Those and many other questions come our way every day, and the very best answers always come from Mentor Ambassadors (MAs). Our Chicago MAs are a fun and dedicated group of mentors who take on a leadership role in recruiting other volunteers and building our mentor community. MAs go above and beyond their 1:1 relationship with their mentee to ensure that more and more students and volunteers can be part of our work.

Chicago’s inaugural cohort of Mentor Ambassadors included: Alejandra Carrera, Alex Sanchez, Anthony McClain, Brian Sherman, Bryan Doyle, Glynnis Hokenson, Jackson Brandstetter, Jenna Ayotte, Jessica Moore, Maria Lopez Gonzalez, Micah McCree, Nick Strafford, Phallon Edmonds, Raj Grewal, Symphoni Henry and Toni Freeman.

Since Mentor Ambassador applications are now open in Chicago, we checked in with a few of these rock stars to hear about their experience.

Why did you apply to be an MA?

Bryan: Born and raised in Chicago, I know inequality of opportunity amongst students exists. What took me back, though, is the burning ambition my mentee and each student has in spite of this. Seeing how far assistance and a gentle nudge can go, I had to become more involved.

Toni: I believe the relationships iMentor helps to facilitate are valuable, and the students are deserving of a champion…all our students deserve access, and that means that we need to offer resources to communities that need them most.

Alejandra: I have a passion to promote the importance of college education. As the first one to go to college in my family, I had no guidance and it was challenging. I wanted to share my own experience with others and help them through the journey.

Tell us about a favorite MA experience.

Micah: My favorite MA moment was the first MA meeting when we were all introduced to each other. I enjoyed all the overall dialogue, the positive energy in the room, and connecting with other people who genuinely cared about the students and the organization.

Maria: My favorite experience was when we had an event for the prospective mentors that had been waiting for a match. Walking, talking and hearing their anticipation and their earnest desire to connect with their mentee to be filled my heart with honey.

What’s one thing you’ve gained from being an MA?

Maria: I have gained insight on the thought process and the deliberation that iMentor has in developing the program and organization. I also was given new vantage points for mentoring and relationship building.

Jenna: I have gained more of an insight to all of the work that goes into making this program run. Beyond the program itself I’ve formed amazing friendships. Being surrounded by likeminded, genuinely GOOD people, is so refreshing.

If you want to join that group of GOOD people, applications are open until April 11. We’re looking for existing mentors who believe in our work, support our mission, and are ready to take that to the next level by recruiting others to join our community.