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The first year of our Crew Mentors pilot program, which trains NYC Outward Bound Schools alumni to support their younger peers just starting college in NYC, is wrapping up. The pilot included two “Crews” of students, one led by alumna Laiba, a student at John Jay College, and another led by Jharol, a junior at Queens College. Read about the early months of the program here.

The Pilot Year

Laiba and Jharol Laiba and Jharol, our first two Crew Mentors

Throughout the year Jharol and Laiba helped their freshman mentees – most of whom are the first in their family to attend college – navigate the challenges they faced in their first year of college through text messages, over the phone, and in person. In all, Laiba and Jharol supported 48 college freshmen.

In one particular case, Jharol helped a mentee who had two separate financial aid “holds” that were preventing him from registering for classes; the student felt ready to give up. Jharol met with the student, helped him make phone calls, and eventually went with him to two different campus offices to resolve paperwork issues. With Jharol’s help, the student was eventually able to register for classes before the deadline. “I could not have done this without Jharol,” said the student.

Reaching More Students

Bielka and Nelly Bielka and Nelly (center) are our two newest Crew Mentors

With the first school year of the program almost over, we’re doubling the Crew Mentor program! Two more outstanding alumni have been recruited and hired to lead two new Crews of student mentees.

Nelly is a graduate of WHEELS and will support students at CUNY’s Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC), where she is a student.  

Bielka attends Kingsborough Community College, and will support graduates from her alma mater Kurt Hahn who are attending various colleges throughout the city.

Training is underway and Crew Mentors have already made connections with many of their new mentees. With Nelly and Bielka on board, the program aims to support over 100 students beginning college this fall.  

Crew Mentors is the newest addition to the suite of supports we provide to students as part of our To & Through College program.

Crew Mentors: The Startup Phase

Read about the first semester of Crew Mentors and learn Laiba and Jharol’s greatest takeaways.

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