Mentor of the Month
Humad, a manager at Accenture, travels frequently for work—but that didn’t stop him from being an exceptional mentor to Waseem during his senior year at the International High School at Lafayette in Brooklyn. What makes his commitment to iMentor possible, Humad says, is the program’s efficient structure and curriculum, which consists of weekly e-mail conversations and once-a-month in-person events. Both the e-mail exchanges and one-to-one interaction is guided by iMentor’s curriculum aimed at helping students build critical skills linked to college success.
“I travel every week so having something set for me to talk about makes it much easier,” said Humad. “I figure out how to plan around my work projects and prioritize to make the time for this. Sometimes I’ll write the weekly e-mail while I’m waiting to catch a plane.”
When Humad and Waseem first met in fall 2012, they learned that they had a lot in common immediately—due in part to iMentor’s advanced matching algorithm that matches students with mentors whose professional backgrounds relate to their own career aspirations. Humad found out that Waseem planned to study technology, the field in which he works, so he was able to advise the teen on how to choose the right college major and degree program. And though Waseem was initially concerned that he’d get a mentor he couldn’t relate to, he was pleasantly surprised to be matched with Humad, who shares his cultural heritage.
“We are both Pakistani and when I spoke to him in Urdu, I could tell he opened up a bit more,” said Humad.
Throughout their partnership, the pair worked together on Waseem’s college applications and tracked down scholarship opportunities. The guidance provided by iMentor program coordinators, who coach and support our volunteers, gave Humad the assurance that he could always offer support to Waseem—even if he wasn’t immediately sure about how to answer a question.
“It’s great having someone to bounce ideas off of, and a point of contact to call if your mentee isn’t responding to something,” said Humad.
For Humad, the biggest reward of his involvement in the program has been watching Waseem pass his Regents exams, graduate from high school, and enroll in Brooklyn College, where he is currently taking classes as a full-time student.
“It makes a difference to kids to have somebody who just cares about their success,” said Humad.
Do you want to make a positive difference in the life of a high school student? This fall, we urgently need 200 more men to join our network of New York City professionals who are empowering students from low-income communities to succeed in college. Sign up to become a mentor today.