MENTORING 4 IMPACT is a two-semester certificate program for college students with disabilities, many of whom are the first in their family to attend college. Staying in college, graduating, and improving the prospect of employment are the top goals of this program. Partnering with the City University of New York (CUNY) Accessibility Services offices and CUNY LEADS (Linking Employment, Academics, and Disability Services), Image Impact developed Mentoring 4 Impact for juniors and seniors with disabilities at CUNY John Jay College for Criminal Justice. In 2019-2020, Image Impact expanded the program to freshmen and sophomores at CUNY Guttman Community College.
PROGRAM COMPONENTS INCLUDE:
Career Readiness Workshops
Students receive 12 weeks of classroom training to obtain the necessary skills to find employment in their chosen careers. Topics covered by expert instructors include goal setting, skills assessment, networking, projecting a professional image online and in-person, crafting an elevator pitch, resume preparation, LinkedIn, mock interviews, leadership development, assistance with disclosure, job fair preparation, and internship best practices.
Each student is matched one-to-one with a Mentor over two semesters, resulting in up to 20 hours of mentoring each academic year. Students are coached on skills enhancement, career development, and navigating job searches. The Office of Disability Employment Policy cites numerous benefits of mentoring, including improved academic performance, enhanced self-esteem and self-confidence, improved interpersonal and problem solving skills, first-hand exposure to the workplace, increased career awareness, and the decreased likelihood of dropping out of school.
Results from weekly student evaluations have shown a 95% satisfaction rate. Image Impact applies over 25 rigorous metrics to measure program success. In addition to pre and post program surveys and minimum attendance requirements, measurable goals include the number of students who successfully complete the program, attend job fairs, participate in informational and job interviews, and receive job offers. Mentor training, Mentor roundtable discussions, mentor retention, mentoring hours, and annual program assessments are also methodically documented.