Morgan Stanley
  • Giving Back
  • Jun 1, 2015

Volunteers Like Adam Jacobs Help Students Achieve Their Ambitions

iMentor empowers students to reach their goals.

Mentors can play a significant role in helping individuals identify and strive toward their aspirations. Many of us can look back to our days as a student or a point early on in our career and identify a mentor who helped us navigate down a successful path but for some, particularly those from low-income communities, identifying that mentor relationship can be a challenge.

At Morgan Stanley, we believe in the value of mentors, and that is why we are proud to partner with iMentor, an organization whose mission is to help build important mentor-mentee relationships for those who need it most. iMentor partners with high schools in low-income communities where the vast majority of students are the first in their families to go to college. When young people are provided with the individualized, one-on-one support of a mentor, it means they have a champion. It means they have someone who believes in them, who will help nurture a college aspiration and get them excited about the future.

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“By matching every single student in our partner schools with a college-educated mentor, iMentor is fundamentally reimagining how we can leverage the community to ensure that students receive the one-on-one, individualized support needed,” said Mike O’Brien, CEO of iMentor. “The data is crystal clear — a college education is the new finish line when we talk about changing the life trajectory of students from low-income communities. Our whole-school partnership model sets the groundwork for real and lasting change to occur because we work with every student in the school where we partner.

In order for iMentor to be successful, they need a strong pool of dedicated mentors. Morgan Stanley is proud to be the longest standing partner of iMentor, having acted as one of the organization’s founding growth funders and continued the partnership by serving as one of the largest volunteer bases for the organization. Since the partnership began in 2001, iMentor has been able to grow from serving 200 students in New York City to 5,500 students nationally, with plans to expand to Chicago this fall and the San Francisco Bay Area in fall 2016.

Through our partnership, Morgan Stanley and iMentor have also established a high school summer internship program that provides 25 students with the opportunity to build and refine their professional skills. This amazing experience has marked many firsts for students - first professional jobs, first coding projects, first public speaking experiences, and the first time they have seen the impact their skills and determination can have in the workplace.

“As a firm, our greatest asset is our employees and the human capital that they bring to our organization, our clients, and our communities every day,” said Joan Steinberg, Global Head of Philanthropy at Morgan Stanley. “With iMentor, our employees are given the opportunity to volunteer and share expertise and insight that can empower students to reach their goals and ultimately strengthen the communities in which we live and work.”

The act of mentoring can be life changing for both the mentor and the mentee. Stories like that of mentor Adam Jacobs from Morgan Stanley and his mentee Kevin bring to life the impact iMentor and those who volunteer with the organization can have on the lives of high school students in our communities.

O’Brien notes that for those who may be hesitant to get involved, “What’s important to remember is that as an adult who has successfully transitioned from high school to college, from college to career, you’re already well-equipped to be a great mentor. You’re working with a student on skills like perseverance and self-confidence in addition to getting them excited about what they’re capable of beyond high school.”

For additional information on iMentor or to apply to be a mentor, visit

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