A Proud College Graduate: Hamlet and Paul’s Story

As iMentor celebrates its 25th anniversary, we are looking back at mentoring pairs who made a lasting impact beyond high school. Hamlet and Paul met through iMentor NYC at the International High School in 2012. They share how the strength of their relationship keeps them in touch even while living several states apart.

Bonding Over Baseball

When Hamlet first met Paul, he admits that he did not see Paul as the type of mentor he was looking for; Hamlet wanted a mentor who was interested in sports like him, and Paul worked for decades in the garment business. As it turns out, Paul was a baseball enthusiast. The two quickly bonded over the Yankees and Mets and attended games together. Paul would even watch Hamlet play baseball with his high school team.

Looking back, Hamlet is glad that he was open with Paul from the beginning. “I never thought I would have this relationship with him. Sometimes we judge a book by its cover,” he says. “After I met him [and] had the first conversation – it was great.”

Proud College Graduate

Hamlet earned a bachelor’s degree in planning, development, and operations from Niagara University in 2019. He says that Paul was instrumental in helping him reach this milestone. As a first-generation college student, Hamlet did not have another adult to ask for guidance about college applications or financial aid. “[Paul] came at a perfect time,” he says. “He had his kids go through college, so he shared that experience with me. He was a great role model.”

Years after receiving his degree, Hamlet still looks at that accomplishment as one to be particularly proud of. Not only did he attend school miles away from home, but he finished four years at a private university without amassing substantial debt. “I didn’t know anybody that went to college,” he says. “I never thought I’d have that experience in my life.”

“The best thing that happened to me”

With experience in finance, sales, and operations, Hamlet currently works as a pricing assistant manager for Charles Kendall, a supply chain company. Despite having moved to Florida, Paul looks forward to fostering their mentorship and seeing what Hamlet accomplishes next. “I want to continue mentoring him, as far as him moving up the ladder in the business world,” Paul says. “He’s really bright. He could really go a lot further.”

Hamlet agrees that the dynamic between him and Paul has not changed. He still looks to his mentor for advice on his career, or sometimes to check in as friends. “He’s always the one person I don’t hide anything from. He’s not the person to judge,” Hamlet remarks. “He’s there for me every time.”

Hamlet also reflects on the impact that being in iMentor had on his life and why mentorship programs are so important for young people. “[iMentor] was probably the best thing that happened to me,” he says. “You have somebody that you [can] look up to. You could use them as an example to better yourself.”

We need more mentors like Paul to guide students through high school, college, and beyond! Sign up to be a mentor today: https://imentor.org/get-involved/become-a-mentor