Mentors, Mentees, and Friends Gather at iMentor’s Benefit Dinner

Mentor held its annual Benefit Dinner last night in the grand ballroom of New York City’s Mandarin Oriental. Students, mentors, educators, and supporters of iMentor--including Ed Norton and Maurice DuBois--came dressed in their best and ready to celebrate the dramatic impact our programs are having on the lives of all participants. The evening raised more than $1.7 million, which will go directly toward funding iMentor's programs.

iMentor Board Chair John Griffin served as the master of ceremonies and introduced the audience to mentors and mentees from the past and present who have worked together for college success. Guests had the opportunity to hear from one special pair that met six years ago through iMentor’s program--Ola and Al. Ola credits his mentor, Al, with helping him get into college as well as earn a Gates Millennium Scholarship and Ronald McDonald House Scholarship. College freshman Kevin was also joined by his mentor, Bart, and his entire family at the event to share a video about the day Bart helped him move into college at the University of Pennsylvania. Watch their story here.

John also had some help from CBS 2 News Anchor Maurice DuBois, who took the stage to moderate a conversation on mentoring with audience members, including a mentor, mentee, school principal, partner from Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, and other special guests. Chelsea shared how the persistance of her mentor, Alicia, ensured she got her college applications in on time. Principal Yu from the Academy of Software Engineering thanked the 250 volunteers who help shape a college-going culture by mentoring students at his school. Ed Norton remembered the advice of his grandfather that pushed him to chase his dreams and not a paycheck.

Next, iMentor CEO Mike O’Brien took the stage as well to share inspiring insights into how our program is empowering 5,700 students in New York City and across the country to achieve their college ambitions. He also spoke about iMentor's plans to match 20,000 more students with mentors over the next five years.

Thank you to all of our guests who came out for this special evening and made it so memorable.