top of page

MENTOR New York Hosts Its Virtual Mentor of the Year Awards

Honoring the Life of Luke Boisi, Jean Lahage Cohen for 25 Years of Service and Five Outstanding Mentors From NY State

NEW YORK — Joined virtually by approximately 140 community leaders and supporters of mentoring, MENTOR New York celebrated the first-ever virtual 2020 Mentor of the Year Awards on Thursday, September 24th at 6:00PM. Presented by JPMorgan Chase, the online event recognized five outstanding mentors, celebrated the accomplishments of 2020, honored the vibrant life of Luke Boisi and celebrated Jean Lahage Cohen for her 25 years of service to the organization.

For those in attendance, the Mentor of the Year Awards was a heartwarming event and an opportunity for new and old friends to support MENTOR New York in providing services that are needed, now more than ever, to mentoring programs, youth development organizations and schools during the global pandemic and amid racial injustice.

“This year’s event was even more special as we saw the amazing community of mentoring supporters in NY overcome physical distance and the challenges of a global pandemic to come together online to show their support for MENTOR New York and the mentoring movement,” said Brenda Jimenez, CEO of MENTOR New York.

“Since my brother Luke Boisi passed away in 2003, we have honored his memory through a series of annual events, which have raised more than $1 million for MENTOR NY and have exposed more than 3000 young professionals to the mentoring movement,” said Zach Boisi, co-founder of MENTOR New York’s Young Professionals Advisory Board. “Despite moving to a virtual format this year, I am proud that we are pairing the Mentor of the Year Awards with a celebration of Jean Cohen and continuing to celebrate Luke's life and commitment to service.”

“Twenty-five years ago, Jim Boisi and Joan Brennan asked me to join them at a new organization, MENTOR NY. The goal was to help the young people of NY have more caring adult mentors in their lives,” said Jean Lahage Cohen, Senior Director of Strategic Transition for MENTOR New York and former Executive Director. “I am so proud of the work that MENTOR NY has done and humbled by this honor.”

The five mentors selected by a volunteer committee comprised of JPMorgan Chase employees as the 2020 Mentor of the Year award recipients included: Berenice Belizaire mentor for Bigs & Littles NYC Mentoring, Cara Ginsberg mentor for Mentors Giving Voices Across North Babylon, Joe Fergus mentor for Connections Mentoring, Erwin Howard mentor for Chautauqua Striders and Pat Banhazl mentor for Baldwin School District Mentoring Program.

“It was wonderful to be involved in selecting the winners for the 2020 Mentor of the Year Awards,” said Raj Shiva, Vice President, Compliance - Surveillance at JPMorgan Chase & Co. and member of the selection committee for the Mentor of the Year Awards. “There were many great applications and I’m so glad I was able to help highlight the impact mentoring has on young people.”

In addition to presenting sponsor JPMorgan Chase, corporate event sponsors included gold-level sponsors: Bethpage Federal Credit Union, Apogee Coaching and Consulting Strategies LLC, People’s United Bank, PSEG Long Island and KeyBank in partnership with First Niagara Foundation. Learn more about the event.

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. 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: The National Mentoring Partnership, the national nonprofit unifying and elevating the mentoring movement. For more information about mentoring programs and initiatives, visit

About JPMorgan Chase:

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $3.2 trillion and operations worldwide. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, and asset management. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of customers in the United States and many of the world’s most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan and Chase brands. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at


bottom of page