Bridging the 15 Million Person Mentoring Gap

Caroline Kim Oh (iMentor, USA) and Theresa Stroisch (iMentor, USA)
Copyright: © 2010 |Pages: 52
EISBN13: 9781616921675|DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-876-5.ch004
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This chapter introduces the history and evolution of iMentor, a NYC-based youth mentoring organization that pioneered the use of guided e-mail communication to enhance the in-person youth mentoring model, and continues to leverage its model and lessons learned to help other groups improve or start up their own mentoring programs. It illustrates how the organization has effectively used technology to add flexibility and structure in its NYC Mentoring Program, engaging a new “class” of program participants: “busy” professionals as mentors and mentees from some of the most economically and geographically isolated communities. It also describes how the organization transformed itself to meet a national demand for its programming by developing and licensing its own mentoring technology platform, iMentor Interactive. The author hopes that by reviewing the experience of iMentor, more mentoring and youth organizations at- large would embrace a thoughtful infusion of technology to positively impact the lives of people they serve. The author, however, strongly believes that the sector must be diligent about adhering to many of the best practices of a good, in-person mentoring program, including screening and monitoring of program participants, providing structure and ongoing assistance.
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