New York City Department of Education Celebrates National Mentoring Month
The New York City Department of Education today recognized mentor Brian Bergeron and his mentee, Mariano Perez, as outstanding participants in the New York City Mentoring Program, which gives students the opportunity to explore career pathways and learn about the skills and education necessary to pursue them through visits to mentors’ workplaces. Deputy Chancellor for Equity and Access Dorita Gibson joined The Fund for Public Schools C.E.O. Julia Bator, Caroline Kennedy, American Museum of Natural History President Ellen V. Futter, and Home Box Office (HBO) Director of Corporate Social Responsibility Dennis Williams at the American Museum of Natural History to celebrate this year’s winners.
In 2008, the New York City Mentoring Program paired Brian Bergeron and Mariano Perez together based on their shared interests. Mariano is a senior at the High School for Art and Design in Manhattan and Brian is the assistant creative director at the Museum of Modern Art’s MoMA Design Store. In recent months, Brian and Mariano have focused their efforts on preparing a portfolio for Mariano’s college applications to arts and design schools, including the Fashion Institute of Technology and the Savannah College of Art and Design. As this year’s 2012 Mentor-Mentee of the Year award recipient, Mariano will receive a $1,000 scholarship, generously provided by the Mentoring Tree Foundation.
“Creating bonds between students and accomplished professionals helps students achieve their full potential in high school and beyond,” said Dorita Gibson, Deputy Chancellor for Equity and Access. “That’s what the New York City Mentoring Program is all about—providing mentoring experiences for as many of our city’s youth as possible.”
“All New Yorkers – individuals, businesses, community organizations, and philanthropists – can contribute to strengthening our public schools, and the New York City Mentoring Program embodies this spirit,” said Julia Bator, C.E.O. of The Fund for Public Schools. “By giving their time and sharing their experience and advice, dedicated volunteer mentors make a direct impact on students’ futures, influencing positive choices in academics, careers, and life.”
“New York’s students need the support of this entire city,” said Caroline Kennedy of The Fund for Public Schools. “During National Mentoring Month, I want to commend all those who are giving their time and talents to our young people, and encourage everyone to think about how they can help our students succeed.”
“In today’s highly competitive and specialized world, the role of mentor is increasingly important in shaping the education and future lives of young people,” said Ellen V. Futter, President of the American Museum of Natural History. “We honor the dedication of the individuals who serve as mentors and play such a vital role. They are making a real difference, not only for those they counsel, but also for society as a whole.”
“Being a mentor in today’s world is not just about educating, it’s about stimulating and connecting with young people at an important juncture in their lives,” said Dennis Williams, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility at HBO. “We applaud the dedication of mentors everywhere who, as individuals and as a whole, understand the importance of guiding the next generation of innovative thinkers and creative minds to their fullest potential.”
“Brian inspired me to grow as an artist and a person,” said Mariano Perez, 2012 Mentee of the Year. “I can only hope that someday, I will be able to return the favor and also mentor a student.”
“Mariano and I have come a long way,” said Brian Bergeron, 2012 Mentor of the Year. “Mariano works extremely hard, taking his mentor’s advice to heart, and in return, his dedication pushes me to improve my skills as his mentor.”
In 1983, the Department created the New York City Mentoring Program, which is the largest mentoring program operated by a school district in the United States. The program serves 31 high schools through 33 programs with 30 partnering organizations, including law firms, financial institutions, alumni associations, and entertainment companies. Mentors also facilitate conversations about goal setting, provide advice on schoolwork and the college admissions process, and broaden students’ horizons by exposing them to the city’s vast cultural resources. There are currently over 800 students participating in the New York City Mentoring Program; since the program’s inception, over 28,000 students have participated.
The Fund for Public Schools works to attract private investment in school reform and to encourage greater involvement of all New Yorkers in the education of our children. This includes working to secure critical funding for system-wide education reform initiatives; facilitating strategic public-private partnerships; managing a targeted set of programs to support city schools, including the New York City Mentoring Program; and building citywide public awareness. Organizations interested in having employees become mentors should email Mentor@schools.nyc.gov