iMentor Mentors Reflect on National Volunteer Week

This week is National Volunteer Week and in honor of this special week-long celebration dedicated to volunteers making a difference every day, iMentor asked members of our own community to share with us what volunteering means to them. Read what our mentors have to say, in their own words, about the importance of building strong relationships through mentoring and giving back to help make a positive impact in the world.

Heather McKenzie

Left: Heather McKenzie (mentor) and Roodelyne (mentee)

"Volunteering is acknowledging your good fortune and in turn offering a helping hand to others along the way. By volunteering you are not only helping others, you are in turn nurturing your spirit and becoming a better human being. Shirley Chisholm’s quote captures the essence of volunteering “Service is the rent we pay for the privilege of living on this earth.”"

Haemi Kwon

Left: Yesly Mercado (mentee) and Haemi Kwon (mentor)

“Volunteering to me is just like sharing. If you have good news, you share it.  If you have been blessed in life and have an advantage, you don't keep it to yourself, you share it. Oh, and if you have a piece of cake, please share it with me!”

Mark Trimmer

Left: Mark Trimmer (mentor) and Edgar (mentee)

“It was through [my mentee] that I sharpened my own practices of grace, tolerance, compassion, empathy, hope and empowerment.  My personal life went through a number of challenges and it was my connection with and admiration [of my mentee’s] grace under fire that helped me navigate my way back.  Five years ago, I would have never known that a young man from the south valley in Albuquerque, NM would have a profound impact on my life, my perspective and the impact I would someday wish to have on the community and my world. “

Ibrahima Souare

Left: Ibrahima Souare (Mentor) and Gustavo Hernandez (Mentee)

“Volunteering is another form of philanthropy, where I can offer my time and attention to a young person whom I remember being in their shoes not too long ago. It’s been fulfilling to start my iMentor experience.”

Anthony Marra

Left: Anthony Marra (mentor) and Samy Jabalera (mentee)

“[My mentee] doesn’t have much family, and I think he was longing for an older brother, an uncle, another adult in his life. That’s probably my biggest impact. Being someone who’s available that helps him through his confusions, his struggles, his heartbreaks: a set of ears ready to listen.”

Sherman Reid

Left: Jeffry Jimenez (mentee) and Sherman Reid (mentor)

“It's very important for me to set an example not only for my own children, but for any young person I meet. To guide them on a life journey to understand themselves and find that which makes their hearts beat fast—that passion, or spark, that drives them so they'll never work a day in their lives.”

Doug Leder

Left: Jordan Meija (mentee) and Doug Leder (mentor)

“Once you experience the impact that you can have on a student, you start to see the power of an organization’s mission in real life, and it becomes a no-brainer to do whatever you can to help the organization grow.”

Quinton Mudd

Left: Ismael Soumaoro (mentee) and Quinton Mudd (mentor)

“I decided to become a volunteer because when I was growing up, I realized I needed access to a role model. I realized how much I suffered from not having access to that role model and I wanted to do what I could to help others that may be coming from similar situations.”