iMentor Baltimore Celebrates 5-Year Milestone with Governor Wes Moore and First Lady Dawn Moore

On September 7, 2023, iMentor Baltimore held their 5-Year Anniversary event at the Government House of Maryland. The night was a celebration of the significant impact iMentor has had over the past five years on 500+ pairs, and a commitment to the future as the organization continues to support building essential 1-1 relationships for Baltimore’s youth – empowering students to graduate high school and pursue their post-secondary dreams.

From left: First Lady Dawn Moore, Nykia (mentee), Essence (mentor), Governor Wes Moore; (Photo cred: Maryland GovPics)

The formal program began with the First Lady introducing the Governor and thanking iMentor Baltimore Regional Advisory Board members, Former Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake, and Stacey Ullrich. The Governor’s remarks emphasized the life-changing impact youth mentoring can have and the real-world impact iMentor Baltimore has had on the city over the past five years.

“We were honored to invite iMentor to Government House and celebrate its five years of incredible work serving our young Marylanders,” said Governor Wes Moore and First Lady Dawn Moore. “iMentor is about making sure that our students recognize their inner potential and have a mentor to guide them along their journey to success. We are thankful for iMentor’s contributions to our state.”

The Governor continued, “It’s about showing our young people there’s more to the world than what’s directly in front of them,” emphasizing the critical role a mentor can play in exposing their mentees to many different possibilities for their futures, especially opportunities they may not have been aware of otherwise. "I am only here right now because of people in my life who stepped up even when they were not called. I am only here right now because of the kind of connections that iMentor builds."

He then handed the podium off to iMentor’s CEO, Dr. Heather Wathington, who shared her excitement over the impact that iMentor Baltimore has had over the past five years.

“At iMentor we believe that every student needs a champion. That’s why we came to Baltimore,” Dr. Wathington said. “Tonight, we stand here, with mentors from the community, celebrating five years of success and transformation in Baltimore with the goal of helping every Baltimore student reach their full potential.”

She then got a chance to recognize and uplift the stories of four different pairs that were attending the event and led a panel with two of those pairs. Among them were Jim and Kheyon, a shining example of how mentoring can unlock future opportunities.

“I feel like I am a great sounding board and ally for Kheyon to help him channel his passions without losing sight of the bigger picture,” said mentor Jim. “Over the next year we will be working together to apply to colleges, and I look forward to chatting with him about the value of college and how that can ultimately help him with his bigger goals of opening up a boxing gym.”

iMentor Baltimore Executive Director, Sid Wilson; (Photo cred: Maryland GovPics)

The event concluded with Sid Wilson, the Executive Director of iMentor Baltimore, expressing gratitude to the Governor and First Lady Moore for their support. As a first-generation college graduate from a working-class background, Wilson highlighted the pivotal decisions that high school students face and emphasized the impact of mentoring relationships and encouraged others to join iMentor.

“We will continue to collaborate with our Baltimore community to ensure that our youth are the next generation of leaders that positively change the landscape of our great city. We are supporting the change in trajectory of our students and our city – one pair at a time,” said Wilson. “Our next generation of leaders is the heartbeat of iMentor Baltimore. We need your support to keep this going so that we can continue to build on our networks and grow our work across the Baltimore community.”

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