National Mentoring Month Corporate Breakfast & Panel

Not even a January ice storm can hold caring Chicagoans back! On January 12, 50 corporate leaders joined us for iMentor Chicago’s first ever National Mentoring Month breakfast, called “Mentoring Matters: How Corporate Volunteers Can Champion Chicago Students.” Morningstar, Inc. – home to 10 employee mentors – hosted the event at their beautiful downtown office.

Our keynote speaker, Chicago City Treasurer Kurt Summers, kicked off our gathering with his reflections on growing up on the south side of Chicago without a path towards higher education. Like most iMentor students, Summers is a first-generation college graduate—neither of his parents graduated from college.

He shared: “I didn’t have a path or a map…my folks didn’t know what to expect or how to prepare me. Thankfully I had other people around me in difficult times. But for those people and those experiences, I wouldn’t be here.”

Of course, the real stars of the show were the mentors and mentees who shared their iMentor experiences with the audience – two pairs from North-Grand High School and one from Phoenix Military Academy.

Tony – a mentor from Morgan Stanley – shared that he and his mentee Anthony have been a great match. “I walked in and there was 150 high school students…all of them wanting to succeed. It was a joy to meet my mentee. I realized the great job iMentor does in pairing individuals – we have a lot of stuff in common!”

As CPS junior Tarvaris said of his mentor Tristan, “I know he’s here to help me and help me stay on the right track. I’ve been doing better in school because of him – he’s my motivation…he never gives up.”

iMentor will be matching 600 more Chicago students with mentors this fall. To volunteer or get your company involved, please email [email protected]. To see all the photos from this event, head to our Flickr.