Andre and Adam: Aiming Higher

At iMentor, we have built a community that understands our responsibility to support and uplift one another through difficult times. As the COVID-19 pandemic forces us all to re-order our lives, iMentor will continue to share stories of mentors supporting students on their unique journeys. Some stories—like this one—predate our current reality. We hope you find it an inspiring reminder of the power of relationships.

Andre, a busy senior at Chicago Military Academy, has wanted to join the Army for as long as he can remember. Andre’s grandmother was enlisted, and his great-grandfather served in Vietnam. “It’s a family tradition, and I want to continue it,” he said.

Before he met his mentor, Adam, Andre did not plan to attend college. But hearing Adam’s experiences convinced him to consider higher education. “The Army will pay for it,” he realized, “so why not?”

Conversations with Adam helped Andre gain a better sense of what college might actually be like. “I thought that once you had a major, you couldn’t really change it,” Andre said. “But Adam helped me understand it isn’t set in stone. Adam also shared with me that he struggled in a couple classes, which was really relatable to me.”

After graduation, Andre now plans to enlist in the Army Reserve and study Aerospace Engineering at a college with small class sizes. Adam helped Andre hone his college list, and has been sharing web apps to help him study for the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB).

“Without Adam, I wouldn’t have the motivation to even try college,” Andre shared. “It makes me feel happy to know that after I graduate, I’m not alone —that he will be there to help me see it through.”

Check out the 2020 Annual Report for all the latest data about who our students and mentors are, how strong their mentoring relationships are, and how students successfully navigate the college process.