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MENTOR New York Honors Mentors Who Have Gone Above and Beyond

Announcing Five Mentors Selected As Award Recipients For MENTOR New York’s virtual 2021 Mentor of the Year Awards Presented By JPMorgan Chase

New York -- MENTOR New York is excited to announce the five outstanding mentors from across New York State who will be recognized on September 23, 2021 during the 2021 virtual Mentor of the Year Awards presented by JPMorgan Chase. Award recipients were selected by a volunteer committee comprised of JPMorgan Chase employees who recognized the unique and powerful mentoring relationships each winning mentor shared with their mentee.

“At MENTOR New York, we know that mentoring can happen anywhere young people live, learn, work, and play, which is why we take the time each year to celebrate mentors from across New York State,” said Brenda Jimenez, CEO of MENTOR New York. “This year’s Mentor of the Year award recipients have impressed us with their dedication to developing an authentic mentoring relationship that allowed them to see their mentee’s brilliance while helping to unlock their potential by creating spaces of joy during these unprecedented times.”

Two of our award recipients are mentors from Big & Littles NYC Mentoring. Sara Engelhard has been 11-year-old Haily’s mentor for the past two years, and Daniel Kasman is 15-year-old Derell’s mentor. Both shared that they have learned so much from their mentees.

“I have learned to appreciate the moments of joy we experience when we stop trying to ‘accomplish something’ and simply surrender to having fun,” said Sara Engelhard.

Daniel Kasman said, “Spending time with Derell has reminded me that we are never too old to question what we see around us. Especially during the pandemic, it has forced me to keep educating myself, always have an open mind, and continue to grow my own values.”

Award recipients Jennifer Martinez from EAC Chance to Advance and Michael Gilhooly from Response to Love Center have something special in common: both watched their mentees flourish during their time as mentors. Jennifer’s mentee is 12-year-old Rose who gained the confidence to express herself and learn to stay positive. Michael’s mentee, 25-year-old Ruben, developed his work skills and learned English.

“She is always there for me. She has shown me things I have never seen. This has been the best experience for me,” said Rose about her mentor Jennifer Martinez.

The fifth award recipient is a mentor who understands firsthand the impact of a mentor in a young person’s life. Kavell Brown was a mentee with Student Sponsor Partners before becoming 16-year-old Imran’s mentor. During the pandemic, Kavell and Imran have kept frequent meetings over Zoom while bonding over basketball and discussing each other’s goals.

All five award recipients and their mentees will be recognized during the virtual awards ceremony on September 23, 2021, from 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM EST. Supporters of mentoring can join in the celebration by purchasing tickets for $25 on our website:

About the 2021 Mentor of the Year Awards

The 2021 virtual Mentor of the Year Awards presented by JPMorgan Chase is an opportunity for new and old friends to support MENTOR New York in providing services that are needed now more than ever to communities, organizations, companies, and schools where mentoring happens. The event will recognize five outstanding mentors, celebrate the accomplishments of 2021, and honor the vibrant life of Luke Boisi.

Event sponsors include presenting sponsor JPMorgan Chase; gold sponsors Bethpage Federal Credit Union, Daniel T Donnelly, Donnelly Building LLC, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, People’s United Bank, Rivkin Radler LLP, The Boisi Family, Philip Bonanno and Dorothy Whalen, Mrs. Susan B. Karches, and The Dagher Family; silver sponsor Certilman Balin; and bronze sponsors Rita Linchitz and Family, Mike and Ann Duffy, and John and Pat Sheehy.

About MENTOR New York

For over 25 years, MENTOR New York has been the go-to resource for building sustainable and mutually beneficial mentoring programs. With a vision to create mentoring cultures and foster mentoring relationships wherever young people live, learn, work and play, MENTOR New York partners with nearly 850 mentoring programs that serve approximately 80,000 young people throughout the state. MENTOR NY is an Affiliate of MENTOR National, the national nonprofit unifying and elevating the Mentoring Movement. For more information about mentoring programs and initiatives, visit


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