Jade & Bianca

Jade will be the first in her family to go to college, and her mentor Bianca has been a critical ally in navigating the college process. A high school senior at the Union Square Academy for Health Sciences, Jade was one of the first in her class to finish submitting college applications, which had a lot to do with the commitment of her mentor. Bianca and Jade have been to college fairs together, on multiple campus visits, and have an ongoing messaging thread about the next steps in Jade’s college process.

Bianca spent more than 10 years working in the fashion industry, which is Jade’s career aspiration. Fashion was their most obvious shared interest and the reason they were matched, but over time Bianca and Jade have discovered how much more they have in common.

“We have so much to talk about that we would never have thought to write down in our mentoring application,” Bianca said.

Their iMentor Program Manager Paula shared that when Jade learned Bianca was pregnant, she was so excited she cried, a testament to how close they have become in the two years since they were matched. Bianca has been a model of consistency and dedication in her relationship with Jade—she shows up for Jade’s school award shows, and has gotten to know her mentee’s family—but she’s quick to point out that she has gained just as much from the relationship: “As much as I’m mentoring Jade, Jade is teaching me what it’s like to be 17 in New York City.”

Bianca & Jade were recently interviewed on PBS MetroFocus alongside Paula Gavin from NYC Service as part of the NYC Youth Mentoring Initiative. You can watch their interview here!