Q&A with Rachel Pfeifer

Q&A with Rachel Pfeifer

iMentor launched its partnership with Baltimore City Public Schools in 2019. From the outset, Rachel Pfeifer, Baltimore City Schools’ Executive Director of College and Career Readiness, championed the partnership as a way to provide critical one-on-one support to students. We caught up with her to discuss how iMentor fits in with the City Schools’ goals and the enormous difference a mentor can make in the life of a young person.

Why did you choose to work with iMentor?

Two core beliefs in our office are that every student needs an adult to provide guidance and support, and that every student needs a postsecondary plan to help them navigate toward their goals. iMentor really was at the intersection of providing our students with an adult who could provide them with support as well as helping students navigate that planning process.

How will iMentor help the school district meet its college and career goals?

Students need as much guidance as they can in the process of transitioning out of high school and preparing for what’s next. iMentor is able to bring in adults who can sit alongside students and has a clear curriculum that is directly supporting students. This was a real opportunity to help every student — and I emphasize that because iMentor is not just picking higher performing students, which was very important to us from an equity perspective.

What is the value of the mentoring relationship and the role a mentor can play?

I think mentoring provides the opportunity for students to get to know someone who’s also fully invested in getting to know them. And what I appreciate about iMentor specifically is it’s not just about having a meaningful connection, but it’s about connecting for a purpose and that purpose is to help the student navigate to college or to a job or workforce-training program.