Wednesday night, iMentor held its inaugural Fall Benefit at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in New York City. With more than 300 iMentor supporters in attendance and the city lights shimmering in the backdrop, there was only one word to describe the event, celebration.
View photos from the event.
We celebrated iMentor’s growth this year as we are now on track to serve 2,400 students in our New York City Program and thousands more nationwide through iMentor Interactive. We celebrated the generosity of our supporters, who have helped us reach more students each year. Most of all, we celebrated our mentors and mentees, who are the heart, soul, and inspiration for everything iMentor pursues and achieves.
The event was hosted by award-winning journalist, Katie Couric, who spoke about the positive impact mentors have had throughout her own life. As a strong believer in mentoring and iMentor’s vision, she said, “You’ve all heard the saying, ‘Change a life, change the world.’ That is what iMentor is doing.”
Adding to the evening’s celebratory mood, Newark Mayor Cory Booker shared in a video message, “Tonight we are celebrating a model of mentorship that we know works. I’ve seen it in my own life. When you partner up with a young person it has a dramatic impact.”
Nothing spoke more to this dramatic impact than hearing it firsthand from mentor-mentee pairs like Byron and his mentee, Jerson. Byron and Jerson are starting the second year of their three-year match that will extend through Jerson’s first year of college. In just one year, Byron helped Jerson go from a C to an A- average and helped improve his SAT scores.
In talking about Jerson, Byron said, “The day Jerson graduates college will be one of the happiest days of my life.” In talking about Byron, Jerson said, “I’m hoping to be the first person in my family to graduate college and because of Byron, I believe it’s possible. I really, really look up to Byron.”
We thank our guests, supporters, and friends who made the evening a celebration to be remembered. We also want to give special thanks to hip hop recording artist, Diggy Simmons for attending and taking the time to meet some of our star-struck mentees.
We hope you will join us this year as we provide more students like Jerson with quality mentors like Byron. Together we can transform the futures for thousands of youth and answer the call to action iMentor’s CEO, Mike O’Brien, left us with last night:
“Our ask tonight is for each person in this room to consider doing just one thing. It doesn’t matter what that one thing is. It only matters that you join us. Be a mentor yourself or recruit someone that will make a great mentor. Bring iMentor to your company and engage your employees, or provide funding so we can enroll new students. It doesn’t matter what that one thing is. It only matters that you join this movement we are trying to build.”
How will you get involved?