In addition to many other roles, BTU serves as a front door, but what exactly does that mean? It means that we are a resource for organizations that want to work with Towson University but are not yet sure in what capacity or where to start. In these cases, organizations complete a partner with us form and we set up a discovery meeting between them and the appropriate representative(s) on the BTU team to learn about their organization, their needs, and explore potential matchmaking opportunities with faculty, staff, students, and even other partners. While we are often the starting point for these developing partnerships, we are rarely the end point, and we then make appropriate connections across campus and beyond.
One recent discovery meeting that I had the pleasure of having was with iMentor Baltimore, which partners with two public and charter high schools in Baltimore City—Academy for College and Career Exploration and Baltimore Design School. They work to build mentoring relationships that empower students to navigate high school, succeed in college, and achieve their ambitions by leveraging the power of one-to-one mentoring relationships. iMentor Baltimore was launched in 2019 and will serve 106 pairs of students and mentors in their second year alone. iMentor has four locations nationwide, in New York City, Chicago, the Bay Area California, and of course Baltimore. Collectively, 68% of iMentor students will be first-generation college graduates, with 98% of iMentor students who submitted applications being accepted into at least one college. Additionally, iMentor students are 37% more likely to enroll in college than their peers.
After meeting with iMentor, several connection points came to light, and they were introduced to several staff members as well as some of our other partner organizations that engage in similar or applicable work. While BTU can’t take credit for this introduction, as it was already in the works thanks to an introduction from a TU professor, I’m excited to share that iMentor is currently exploring collaboration efforts with the Center for STEM Excellence and some areas of work may include a sci-tech virtual field trip for summer programming, equipment loans, future Hi-tech initiatives around IT/cybersecurity and professional development for teachers and staff, and campus tours. While I’m excited to see what is to come out of the emerging partnerships between iMentor and Towson University, I’d also like to mention that they are also in need of mentors to be matched with their students.
Mentoring with iMentor
iMentor is looking for college-educated mentors to be matched with first-generation Baltimore City high school students, to help them navigate the journey to and through college and other post-secondary career pathways. Mentoring is made accessible and easy for busy professionals by providing a guided playbook, time-efficient communication resources, and staff support along the way.
iMentor asks mentors to:
- Commit to one high school student for a three-year period
- Send at least one weekly online communication and attend one monthly, pair event
In order to support the success of the relationship, each pair is assigned a dedicated program manager. Volunteers in our mentor community also engage in mentoring workshops, mentor-only support groups, and social events.