How Losing Work Because of the Pandemic Affected One Bronx Family

In this video, iMentor college student Naz talks with his mentor, Khwaja, about being home during the pandemic, and about his worries for his father, who, because of the economic downturn, lost his job at a restaurant in Long Island, a job that had required a two-and-a-half-hour commute. iMentor has launched the iMentor Collective Response Fund to support students like Naz in a critical year.

When COVID-19 began making headlines around the world in December and January, Naz, like many Americans, did not expect the virus to have such a large effect on his life.

One day in March, the Syracuse University sophomore woke up to an email from school announcing that because of COVID-19, students would have to finish the semester online. Naz had one full day to move out of his dorm. He was among the 15 million students in the US who had to adjust to remote learning this past spring.

In March, Naz went back home to his family in the Bronx, and the entire household stayed home in isolation for the next two months. The transition to online classes was not smooth, said Naz, noting that students weren’t participating during class, and instruction often amounted to PDFs that students were supposed to follow.

Naz’s family is just one of the millions of families who are facing financial challenges related to COVID-19. Among iMentor students, 43 percent had a parent or guardian who lost a job, or was furloughed or laid off this spring due to the pandemic. Despite the economic downturn, Naz’s parents are continuing to do their best to provide for their three children.

The students that iMentor serves are likely to be the hardest hit by the COVID-19 crisis. They deserve the best supports possible to navigate this moment. Learn about iMentor's investments in four areas to meet the unique challenges of the year ahead.