Mentoring Works. Help me reach my goal so that many more underserved youth can be connected to caring mentors.
Hello Friends and Family,
As some of you know, i have started to volunteer this year with an organization here in New York called Imentor. You can check them out at imentor.org. Essentially they pair New York City professional with high school students from low income communities with the intent of providing mentees with an adult outside their normal friends and family network that can serve as a role model, or simply someone to listen to them, or someone they can go to for advice when they need it. Mentors also help their mentees understand and prepare for future possibilities beyond high school. Imentor's mentees have much higher rate of both high school graduation, as well as college enrollment, compared to students who do not have a mentoring relationship.
My mentee is Shakirra (see photo below of both she and I at her school) and i have really enjoyed getting to know her. She goes to Queens Vocational High School and is enrolled in Business Program there. She is a gifted athlete and most sports come to her relatively easily - and she has made a particular mark in basketball this year - her first year on the team since transferring to the school. In addition, Shakirra likes regular teenage stuff like music (she is obsessed with Lil Wayne), her sidekick, and hanging out with her few but close friends. Academically some classes are easier than others. She struggles a little with Math and needs to put extra effort into that and but she really enjoys her Global class and learning about history. She knows sometimes she sits in class with other students that distract her but she's working on that. She is also really interested in Science and the environment. She talks about both becoming a lawyer or a scientist but sometimes those decisions still seem a bit far off. For the most part she wants to enjoy being a teenager and where she is at right now, which is understandable and "being in the moment" is also something that i personally appreciate too.
Some of her friends and family think she should try to use basketball as a way to get a scholarship for college or even try to go pro but she's not so sure about that. In any case she is going to continue with the sports programs at her school and see how things go. I find Shakirra to be pretty grounded and wise for her age and I see a lot of potential for her future.
Im setting up this fundraising page to try to help financially contribute to the Imentor organization that makes relationships like mine and Shakirra's possible. Please contribute if you can and/or consider becoming a mentor yourself - its a really rewarding experience!
Thank you, Elysha
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