iMentor Brings 80 NYC Public School Students to EY Connect Day Helping High Schoolers “See It to Be It” for Career-Exposure

In early November EY invited 80 iMentor high school juniors from The Laboratory School of Finance and Technology in the Bronx, to visit the company’s U.S. headquarters in Manhattan to participate in the national EY Connect Day, a career-connected learning event. Side by side with more than 40 volunteers from EY and iMentor NYC staff - the signature NYC partner for the day - the high school juniors attended a full day of presentations, panel discussions and small-group break out events. The Laboratory School of Finance and Technology is one of the 11 New York City Public Schools partnering with iMentor for the 2023-2024 school year, for which special programming and curriculum kicks off in the fall. 

The November 2023 EY Connect Day in NYC, which are quarterly service days when all EY professionals in the Americas volunteer together, had a specific mission: to introduce New York City public school students to career-connected learning and highlight pathways to college degrees. These juniors are just starting their mentor relationships with iMentor where for two years in high school plus two years in college they are paired with an adult mentor for 1:1 support to navigate career pathways, college applications and support the transition to college. 

“It was thrilling to see so many EY volunteers teaming up with talented NYC public school students, demonstrating that a college degree and a career is attainable for anyone who wants it. And not only did students learn about EY, but we had the chance to learn directly from the source about our future talent pool,” said Alysia Steinmann, Metro New York Office Managing Partner at EY. “iMentor is best in class and EY is proud to team with them for so many years now on supporting the next generation of leaders.” 

The interactive and dynamic day started with mingling among students and volunteers. Leaders from EY and iMentor teed up structured panel discussions, a lesson on digital literacy, lunch and breakout sessions. The panel discussion focused on personal journeys to college and career and ultimately what led each volunteer to mentor. Students heard from EY employees that social capital comes in all different forms and that not every job at EY starts with a campus recruit day or other “traditional” ways of recruiting employees. The breakout session focused on social and emotional awareness and was themed around “Imposter Syndrome” to promote a sense of belonging and underscore the idea that students deserve the opportunities that await them on the other side of their college journey. 

“I’m grateful to EY for creating an amazing experience for our students,” said Scott Millstein, Executive Director, iMentor NYC. “Today, for the first time, I know some students saw themselves working at a firm like EY in the future and some EY volunteers experienced the joy of supporting a student who will be the first in their family to attend college.  The power of mentorship was abundantly on display here today.” 

Added Hillary Martinez, an 11th grade iMentor student at The Laboratory School of Finance: “It was cool to hear about the experiences of the adults at EY and be in the office building. It made me excited to start thinking about my career in the future.”

For the 2023-24 school year in NYC alone, iMentor will work with 11 schools and 3,200 students, 97% of whom are students of color, and most will be the first in their families to attend college. Every iMentor student is matched 1:1 with an adult mentor starting junior year of high school. The pairs collaborate closely to chart a path to college. Additionally, iMentor has a nest approach that integrates college success classes into the curriculum during the school day. A college degree is the most direct path to economic mobility -- a four-year college graduate earns $1M more over their lifetime than someone who doesn’t go to college; and a bachelor’s degree is worth 84% more than a high school diploma. iMentor students enroll in college 22% points higher than their peers. Both iMentor and the Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education, David C. Banks share a commitment to get students early career exposure to support their future journey, and iMentor is working with schools and corporations to continue to provide robust programming for NYC students.  

“Career-connected learning is an essential part of our vision to ensure students build a strong plan toward a path to a rewarding career. We applaud the work that iMentor and its corporate partners are doing to help students learn about the diversity of careers that are available to them and the multifaceted range of companies that would like to hire them someday,” noted Banks. “Partnerships like this are an important component of our shared mission to support the economic success and mobility of the future leaders of New York City.” 

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