Mentor 2.0: Dakota and Brandon

In addition to running the iMentor program regionally across the country, iMentor also 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, BBBS chapters in 16 different cities run mentor2.0, which is a localized version of the iMentor program that is managed and executed by BBBS staff.

The following pair story is from one mentor2.0 partner, Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee. This story originally appeared on their blog, and we are publishing it here with their knowledge.

Big Brother Brandon and Little Brother Dakota have been matched since the fall of 2016 in the Mentor 2.0 program. Brandon and Dakota spent their first year getting to know one another and talked mostly about football. Brandon works for IMG Vol Network and promotes the Volunteers through sales and advertising. Since the Volunteers are Dakotas favorite sports team, he and Brandon hit it off immediately.

Brandon joined the program because he recognized how challenging high school can be and he wanted to help guide a student in the right direction. Dakota joined the program because he wanted someone to help him stay out of trouble and to improve his grades.

At the beginning of Dakota’s freshman year, he had more disciplinary referrals than any other freshman. He lacked motivation and focus, but Brandon provided him constant encouragement and support. At one point in the school year, Dakota’s family moved to a different area and he was no longer zoned to attend his school. When Dakota learned that he was moving and would no longer be involved in the Mentor 2.0 program, he called his mom to tell her that he couldn’t leave his school. As a result, Dakota’s mom set goals for him to achieve and agreed that as long as he kept his grades up she would make the effort to drive him to and from school so he could stay in the Mentor 2.0 program. Dakota has kept up his end of the deal and has not only kept his grades up but he has also avoided ISS and OSS entirely this year. He is currently the most improved student in the Mentor 2.0 program. We are proud of the strides that Dakota has made in school and with his mentor Brandon!