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MENTOR New York Hosts the Virtual 2021 Mentor of the Year Awards

A Night of Elevating Youth Voice and Celebrating Mentors

MENTOR New York Announces a New Award in Honor of Luke Boisi

New York, NY — Joined virtually by community leaders and supporters of mentoring from across the state on Thursday, September 23, 2021, MENTOR New York hosted its second annual virtual 2021 Mentor of the Year Awards presented by JP Morgan Chase. In just one hour, attendees enjoyed powerful performances by talented NY youth, were inspired by the stories of five mentors, and unveiled a special new award to continue the tradition of honoring the life of Luke Boisi.

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 by helping raise critical funds that will ensure it can continue its mission.

“Following a historic 18 months that have left the NY Mentoring Movement in a deficit of capacity, funding, resources, and more, this year’s Mentor of the Year Awards was a resounding sign of the tenacity to overcome as we were joined by the amazing community of mentoring supporters in NY to celebrate mentoring and unite behind the goal of supporting MENTOR New York’s work,” said Brenda Jimenez, CEO of MENTOR New York. “The investment made in MENTOR New York during last night’s event will fuel our work into 2022 and ensure that we provide the critically needed services for communities, schools, organizations, and companies throughout New York where mentoring already happens or can happen with our support.”

This year marked the first time MENTOR New York included three youth performances during the event. Driven by its dedication to uplifting youth voice and a desire to share the authentic experiences of youth throughout the pandemic and racial inequities, MENTOR New York collaborated with three organizations to highlight youth performances: Girls Mentor Girls, CAT Youth Theatre from CUNY, and Girl Be Heard.

A pillar of the event was the awards ceremony where MENTOR NY honored five mentors as Mentors of the Year.

Geoff Boisi, the co-founder of MENTOR National, presented this honor to five mentors selected as award recipients by a volunteer committee composed of JPMorgan Chase employees who recognized the unique and powerful mentoring relationships each winning mentor shared with their mentee. This year’s award recipients included Sara Engelhard mentor for Bigs & Littles NYC Mentoring, Kavell Brown mentor for Sponsor Student Partners NYC, Michael Gilhooly mentor for Response to Love, Daniel Kasman mentor for Bigs & Littles NYC Mentoring, and Jennifer Martinez mentor for EAC Chance to Advance.

“Thank you MENTOR New York. It feels incredibly humbling,” said Sara Engelhard, one of the 2021 Mentors of the Year. “What made me become a mentor honestly was that I have had truly, truly incredible female mentors in my life who have changed my life, and I really wanted to contribute that kind of passing of the torch for women helping women.”

Guests were surprised with the launch of a new award announced by Zach Boisi, Co-Founder of MENTOR New York’s Young Professionals Advisory Board (YPAB) and former Executive Director of MENTOR NY. For 18 years, MENTOR New York has honored the life of Zach’s brother, Luke Boisi who tragically passed away at the age of 21. This year would have marked Luke’s 40th birthday. In honor of his memory and to continue sharing and celebrating his legacy, MENTOR New York will begin, starting in 2022, awarding one mentor each year with a Mentor of the Year Award in Memory of Luke Boisi.

"This event started as a close gathering for family and friends to celebrate Luke's life. Eighteen years later, it has grown to be an event that gathers mentoring leaders and supporters from all across the state and still carries Luke’s memory,” said Zach Boisi. “Mentoring is a cause close to my heart and something that greatly impacted Luke’s life. My family and I are honored that Luke's memory will be captured in this special Mentor of the Year award moving forward."

In addition to JPMorgan Chase, corporate event sponsors included; gold-level sponsors Bethpage Federal Credit Union, Donnelly Building LLC, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, People’s United Bank, and Rivkin Radler LLP; and silver-level sponsor Certilman Balin and PSEG Long Island.

“MENTOR New York has been an invaluable partner in our efforts to leverage our strongest asset – the talent of our employees – as impactful mentors to help prepare young people for careers and for life,” said Marlee Henderson, Global Philanthropy Program Manager at JPMorgan Chase & Co. “We are excited to support the 2021 Mentor of the Year Awards to further showcase the importance of mentorship in driving inclusive growth in our communities.”

“Mentoring is a reward in itself and we are so pleased that many of our attorneys and staff have participated in our LIKE Program during the past 17 years,” said Brian Ziegler and Fred Skolnik, the Corporate/Securities Law Partners at Certilman Balin and Co-Chairs of the Lawyers Involved in Kids’ (LIKE) Education Program.

“MENTOR New York does such wonderful work. We have proudly supported the organization for many years and are proud to do so again this year.” – Gold Sponsor, Rivkin Radler LLP.

“People’s United Bank is proud to support the Mentor of the Year Awards to recognize those who have made a positive impact on the lives of young people. MENTOR New York plays a significant role in ensuring healthy mentoring relationships that support the growth and development of our young people and is the driving force behind improving the quality of mentoring programs across the state. We are proud to support their work as leaders in the New York mentoring movement,” said Steven Santino, SVP, Senior Growth Manager, People’s United Bank, and Board Member, MENTOR New York.

The event was a success thanks to the support from MENTOR New York’s Board of Directors and Young Professionals Advisory Board (YPAB). Learn more about MENTOR New York’s mission and work:


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