Join MENTOR New York virtually on
September 24, 2020 from 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Help us to close the mentoring gap and ensure that all young people in NY have access to safe and caring mentoring relationships. Your support is the fuel that propels our work forward allowing our services to reach over 850 mentoring programs across NY state and beyond. We can’t do this without you.
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At MENTOR New York, we believe you matter. You the mentors, the volunteers, the longtime supporters, the corporate investors, the strategic partners and so many others. You the champions for mentoring. You matter.
Managing Director of Program, Student Sponsor Partners
"I very much trust their [MENTOR NY] judgment and I feel they have the experience to be leading other organizations through this very challenging time.”
Ali works tirelessly to implement every resource at the program's disposal for it’s mentees who are living below the poverty line. Racing the clock to provide Chrome Books for kids before the school year is over. Connecting with mentors and giving them support as they experience this pandemic themselves.
…transition to the virtual space.
How MENTOR NY Supported Simeon's Work
“[MENTOR New York] helped myself and mentors on how to transition mentoring in a virtual space. Those round tables with other mentors around the city helped us to hear what other people were doing and how other centers were making it work. It gave us an idea of what we can do.”
Program Director, Redfern Cornerstone, The Child Center of NY
“I just love people. That is my main and overall motivation. Then when you get to the point where you are seeing that you have an impact. I would say that is a secondary motivation because then you are seeing how beneficial it is, what you are doing. You are seeing the positive impact and how you are assisting people either learn, grow, or assist people to assist other people.”
Due to the destructive strike of the pandemic, thousands of families and children are confronted with unexpected and unprecedented challenges in their lives. As the Program Director of Redfern Cornerstone for the Child Center of NY, Simeon Pollydore worked on the front line of the NYC Cornerstone to help families and children in his community.
In the early days of the pandemic, Simeon’s program site became a food distribution center for the community while young people were at home for the quarantine. Months later, he is happy to have resumed offering safe, in-person services to youth.
Challenge Faced by Families
“There are children who we don’t know how tough it is to be in their home,” said Simeon. It could be difficult for parents as well. Simeon witnessed firsthand the impossible choices that parents are facing when they have jobs that require them to be in-person, even when their children might not have in-person care available due to the pandemic.
“You don’t understand…you don’t understand…” said one mother with tears in her eyes as she explained that she would have to quit her job if she couldn’t get additional in-person services for her child. Seeing the difficult situation, Simeon and his team worked creatively to find a solution, and he later realized that “what she was making me aware of was the fact that I didn’t know how more extreme [the situation must] be” than imagined.
Two-Way Learning & Resiliency
Even through the difficulties of the pandemic, Simeon finds joy in his work with young people, especially in the two-way learning experience that mutually benefits both the young people and their mentors.
As mentors and program coordinators, they teach children how to dance, how to create art, how to speak, how to present themselves, etc. “However, sometimes we don’t focus on what it is that we learned from them,” said Simeon.
Resiliency is at the top of the list of lessons Simon says he learns from young people, especially during the pandemic. “Children will fall out and they will have issues with one another. Two seconds later, they are back being friends again. Resiliency within life/anything is one of the major things that I’ve taken from them.”
Starting from playing school as a game when he was growing up to now working at an afterschool program, Simeon adhered to his childhood dream, always knowing “I love to impart whatever knowledge that I got and learned from them [the kids] as well because I do see the relationship as a mutually beneficial one.”