Nancy & Mary

When I got matched with my mentor, Mary, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew that iMentor, the school-based mentoring program that paired us, spent a lot of time vetting their mentors and put a lot of thought behind their mentor-mentee matches, but I wondered if we would get along.

From our first exchange, it was clear that we had more in common than I had expected. We were both a little nervous but excited to get to know each other. And neither of us was originally from the U.S. We connected right away.

What you don’t get to see in my video: After leaving my parents behind in Haiti to finish school, I had to grow up quickly and take on a lot more responsibility. My mentor, Mary, became an important part of my support system.

Mary helped me with more than the college application and financial aid process. She helped me learn how handle stressful situations. Mary turned out to be more than a mentor. She became my friend.

Editor's Note: This piece originally appeared on the Citi Foundation's blog featuring Pathways to Progress success stories. Pathways to Progress is the Citi Foundation’s approach to providing youth with the career readiness tools and opportunities needed to thrive in the 21st century economy. In 2014, as part of our Pathways to Progress approach, the Citi Foundation made a three-year, $50 million commitment to boost the career readiness of 100,000 low-income youth in 10 cities across the United States.