iMentor believes in the power of personal relationships to create life-long connections that expose students and mentors alike to new ideas, aspirations, and opportunities. Our mentoring model is designed to work in collaboration with schools to enable mentors to effectively advance a young person’s ambitions for college and life.
We prove our mentoring model through a direct-service program in New York City and share the model—including the curriculum, best practices, and technology—with nonprofits across the country. iMentor’s programs get results through these core elements:
Whole School Partnerships
iMentor assists public high schools that face critical challenges preparing students for college by providing every student in the school with a mentor. We integrate this community of mentors with existing supports in a school to create a college-going culture.
Strong Mentoring Relationships
We match students one-to-one with same-gender, college-educated mentors for three to four years. iMentor involves students in the process by allowing them to select the qualities that would be most helpful to them in a mentor. Once matched, mentors and mentees exchange weekly emails and meet once a month in person.
We have two program models to sustain these matches. The College Ready Program matches mentee-mentor pairs for four years, from the 9th-12th grades. The College Transition Program matches pairs for three years from 11th grade through the first year of college. At the end of both of these programs pairs have the option of extending their match through college completion.
Our research-based curriculum helps mentors and mentees build strong personal relationships while students develop key college-success skills, such as a critical thinking, self-advocacy, social capital, and perseverance. It also guides students and mentors step-by-step through the college exploration, application, and transition process.
Expert Guidance and Resources
Experienced staff provide case management and coaching to mentors to make them more effective, and foster strong relationships that ensure results for students. Staff also connect mentees to additional college resources and skill-building opportunities.
iMentor utilizes technology to enhance personal relationships. Our online mentoring platform facilitates mentor-mentee engagement through a secure email system, curriculum guidance and resources, and meeting scheduling. It also allows staff to implement an effective program with a pair matching algorithm, case management tools, and real-time program evaluation tools.
iMentor rigorously evaluates our programs to gauge our students’ progress toward college success benchmarks and to collect best practices that can be shared with national partners. In 2011, we launched a six-year independent evaluation on the effectiveness of our model. This will be the nation’s most comprehensive study conducted on mentoring.