I just contributed a guest-blog post to the Citizen IBM blog about the volunteer work I am doing at P-Tech. The post is called Volunteerism and Citizenship: One mentor’s story.
I’m starting as a mentor at a project IBM is doing with the City of New York called P-Tech. It’s a highschool in Brooklyn that goes for six years — at the end of it the kids earn an associates degree as well as the high school diploma and they are first in line for IBM jobs. One of the main aspects of the program is a one-on-one mentorship with IBMers for each of the kids in the school.
The New York Times wrote a concise piece about it when the school opened a couple days ago.
I’m really looking forward to doing a little more for the community — this is a small thing to be sure, but it is something. I am, after all, a Brooklyn citizen and proud!
When I was living in East Harlem I participated in the East Harlem Tutorial Board — a great program. However, I found it really tough for a bunch of reasons…I’m much more optimistic about this program, especially because (having just gone through the initial training) it seems really well organized.
Chatting with one of my colleagues who is also a mentor, he said “the mentoring dimension of this feels key to me — the primary difference between kids who make it and those who don’t is whether there’s an adult in their lives who cares whether they live or die.” I couldn’t agree more. Looking back at my life there were a few key individuals who propped me up at some rough times — same is true for me as an adult too, really.
So! Fingers x’ed…I just might be able to prop this kid up when he needs a grownup to lean on.