Success Story

Sean's Mentoring Story

Rey (left) and his mentor, Sean

When Sean first moved to New York City in 2013, he was excited about working at PwC and getting involved with the local community. A good friend and colleague introduced Sean to iMentor, and as he learned about the organization’s mission to help first-generation college students, from low-income communities, succeed in college, it deeply resonated with him. Even though it had been years, he still remembered what applying to college was like for him.

My parents were lower income, and college has changed a lot over the years. There was no financial aid back when they applied, so they couldn’t really help or give me insight when I was applying. It was also really hard to see my high school guidance counselor, and I’m the oldest in my family. I just had to figure out a lot on my own and I struggled with it.”

As a result, Sean was passionate about mentorship and education. He made the commitment to iMentor and got matched with his mentee, Rey, that fall. In the beginning, he was nervous about hitting it off with Rey. He quickly discovered some of his mentee’s challenges. Rey had just transferred to a new school and was behind in most subjects. Nevertheless, Sean saw a ton of potential in his mentee.

“About a year into our relationship, [Rey] asked me about what I did. I shared my experiences, and he actually took a liking to my story. He got more interested in business, and we talked about career paths he could take. He slowly started applying himself and his grades improved.”

Junior year, Sean helped his mentee apply to paid summer internships. Rey received two offers, one from PwC and one from Capital One. Rey chose Capital One and had an amazing experience. The following year, he earned a “Most Improved Student” award from his school, and with Sean’s help, enrolled in SAT prep courses. And then … the college acceptances started rolling in.

“It was really REALLY great! I knew [Rey] always had the potential; it just needed to be unlocked. He was always so mature. I don’t know how much I actually helped, but it was amazing to be part of his journey. I went to his graduation, and it was just a proud moment for me.”

Rey is currently enrolled at Medgar Evers College pursuing a degree in business, and he still works at Capital One during the summers. In fact, the company helps cover a portion of his school fees. As for Sean, he is now a huge champion for iMentor at PwC. Along with his colleague, Connor, he has spearheaded recruitment efforts to grow the company’s volunteers from 20 mentors in 2013 to now over 150 in New York City.

“PwC supporting mentorship is huge to me. Mentorship is different from coaching, and I’m glad the company gets that. Through mentorship, I learned that listening goes a long way. I remember all the times I just asked and listened to my mentee because I wanted him to feel comfortable talking to me without judgment. That’s something I take to the workplace now in meetings and even when talking to my little brother. He’s applying to college himself, and I can help him because I just went through it. It’s something that has enhanced a lot of areas of my life.” 

Rey's high school graduation!