The Magic of the Match

Laura Tichler, a supervising program manager, has served students at Lyons Community School in Brooklyn, NY for the past five years. She explains how she has paired hundreds of students with mentors in this time.

To match students with mentors, I start with iMentor’s “strength of match” algorithm and look for something the two people have in common.

I look for something that can get a student excited and make the mentor feel a little less foreign and strange. I’ll say to the student, “I found a mentor who also had to work throughout high school, and you guys can talk about how hard it is to balance work and school.” Or “You're interested in studying abroad, and I found a mentor who did that in college.”

I've had so many mentors say to me, “How did you possibly find the right student for me?”

My honest take is it has nothing to do with the actual person. It has to do with the attitude of the mentor coming in and being willing to embrace someone they didn't know.

If you have the attitude of being open minded and curious and willing and knowing that you're going to be creating a relationship with somebody across difference, that's what's most important. The actual characteristics and qualities of the individual do not matter.

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