Taking Center Stage: Loren & Samantha’s Story

In the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Samantha, a set and prop designer with a deep love for music, was looking for something to do. She eventually discovered iMentor, and knew it was the perfect way to keep busy and make a meaningful impact. Although Samantha was excited about the program, she was nervous about the amount of impact she would be able to make virtually over Zoom.

Loren was a student at Hudson High School of Learning Technologies with an impressive talent for musical theater who dreamed of starring in movies and performing on Broadway. Naturally, she already knew what her major would be: musical theater. When Loren first heard that she would be participating in the iMentor program, she was hesitant; she thought it was strange that an unfamiliar person would be responsible for advising her in a personal way.

Loren quickly realized Samantha's genuine desire to help her. This created an immediate bond that was strengthened by a shared passion for musical theater and the realization that they were both from the same neighborhood.

“I thought to myself, she's right around where I live, so she knows we have that in common. I noticed right off the bat how much she wanted to help me. I've never really had this before,” said Loren. “My first impression was that she was super nice, super kind, and super supportive."

The pair started with online meetings and phone calls, but one of their favorite moments was when they finally met in person. They took a train together for a college visit, exploring the campus and catching up on their personal lives. This visit became even more memorable as it was the college that Loren now attends!

Samantha has always made it a priority to support Loren in all her endeavors and attend her singing performances. “We bonded over music and the arts and Loren’s love for theater. But I had never heard her sing. She finally sent me a video of her singing and I was like, she's got something special,” said Samantha. She proudly witnessed Loren perform in places like a gig in a Harlem park and her very own high school graduation.

Samantha's impact on Loren was not just performance-based, but also academic. Samantha has consistently gone above and beyond to support Loren with her studies through late-night study sessions, reviewing coursework, and providing valuable insights. With Samantha's guidance and unwavering belief in her abilities, Loren is excelling academically.

“One of the best things Samantha did for me was buy me a planner. I didn't realize how big of a difference that would make in my life. I know it sounds kind of silly, but I've always been unorganized and never wanted to try and plan out anything on paper. The planner has become my best friend,” Loren shared.

Samantha shared similar sentiments about the positive impact of having Loren as a mentee.

“Loren gives me a lot of joy. She is a lovely mentee to have, and I see a lot of potential in her. I see a lot of talent,” said Samantha. “She's very endearing, very appreciative, very sweet and kind. And I just want everything for her.”

We need more mentors like Samantha to support students through high school and into college! Become a mentor today!