Press Release: Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg Announces iMentor’s 100 Mentor Pledge in State of the City Address
10 leading companies will each recruit 100 employees to mentor high school students in New York City’s low-income communities
New York, NY (January 12, 2012) – Today in his State of the City address, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced that iMentor is partnering with 10 leading New York-based companies that will each recruit 100 of their employees to serve as mentors for high school students in low-income communities. These additional volunteers will allow iMentor to expand its program in New York City to help 1,000 additional students succeed in high school, college, and careers.
iMentor, a leading youth mentoring organization in New York City, launched the 100 Mentor Pledge in partnership with 10 companies that are committed to serving New York City’s youth: Accenture, Barclays Capital, Bloomberg LP, Citi, Deutsche Bank, Ernst & Young LLC, Goldman Sachs, Marsh & McLennan Companies, Morgan Stanley, and UBS. iMentor will match the companies’ employees with students from its partner schools in one-on-one mentoring relationships that will last up to four years. Mentors will help students develop key competencies linked to college success, navigate the college application and financial aid processes, and build career awareness. The commitment of these companies will allow iMentor expand its programs to meet its goal of serving 3,000 students in New York City by 2013.
In his remarks, Mayor Bloomberg cited college and career-readiness as one of five priorities for improving the City’s schools. Mayor Bloomberg highlighted iMentor’s 100 Mentor Pledge as a key initiative to help achieve this goal. “In recent weeks, many of our city’s leading corporate citizens have joined a mentoring program for high school students callediMentor,” said Mayor Bloomberg. He called for more New York City companies to join the pledge and help students become college and career-ready: “to the leaders of our hospitals, hotels, nonprofits and small businesses of every kind, including our growing tech community: join us in this new effort to connect high school students to career paths. One of the companies that has already agreed to participate, I’m proud to say, is Bloomberg LP.”
“iMentor is grateful to the 10 visionary companies that helped launch the 100 Mentor Pledge, which will provide vital support to our schools and students,” said iMentor CEO Mike O’Brien. “We are thankful for Mayor Bloomberg’s support and I join him in encouraging more to follow their example and join the pledge.”
Improved college-readiness for students in public schools is vital to supporting young people as they enter the 21st-century workforce. It is estimated that by 2018, 63 percent of all domestic jobs will require at least some college education. Yet, in New York State, only 37 percent of all students graduated high school college-ready last year, including only 13 percent of African American and 15 percent of Latino students. Nationally, almost half of low-income students who do enroll in college do not re-enroll in the second year. With a national average student-to-college counselor ratio of 500:1, schools need mentors to help provide the individualized support low-income students need.
iMentor has matched more than 7,000 youth in New York City with mentors since 1999 and the results have been impressive. Independent evaluations of iMentor have shown that participation in the program has a statistically significant impact on student attendance levels, grades, and standardized test scores. In 2011, 83 percent of iMentor’s students graduated from high school and 67 percent of mentees enrolled in college.
iMentor leverages the power of mentoring to help underserved youth graduate high school college-ready and succeed in college and beyond. Students and mentors work one-on-one through iMentor’s online and in-person curriculum to build the non-academic competencies that further college success. In New York City, iMentor partners with public schools to ensure every student in the school receives a mentor. Since 1999, iMentor has connected 7,000 students in New York City with mentors, and will match 2,400 mentor-mentee pairs this year. iMentor also provides its curriculum, technology, and best practices to more than 30 nonprofits in 20 states to help them run effective mentoring programs in the iMentor model. iMentor’s work has been recognized through funding by leading institutions such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Lumina Foundation, New Profit, and the Robin Hood Foundation, and is a subgrantee of the federal Social Innovation Fund. www.imentor.org