This spring, Mentor Collective formed a collaboration with Wells Fargo and APIA Scholars to implement a robust, six-month mentorship program for 120 recipients of the Student Impact Scholarship, part of Wells Fargo’s CollegeSTEPS program.
Mentor Collective is an organization that seeks to make life-changing relationships a feature of every student’s college experience. To realize this vision, they partner with forward-thinking companies—like Wells Fargo—and institutions that are committed to equity, inclusion, and relationship-centered education.
The Student Impact Scholarship was created by Wells Fargo to recognize and assist students making a difference in their communities and who may have been financially impacted by the pandemic. In addition to receiving a $5,000 scholarship, recipients were encouraged to participate in a corresponding mentorship program—facilitated by Mentor Collective—in which they were paired with a Wells Fargo mentor.
“Mentorship is an integral part of our culture at Wells Fargo,” said Dewey Norwood, Senior Vice President, Relationship Manager, External Engagement, Wells Fargo. “The commitment from the scholars in the Student Impact Scholarship program and my Wells Fargo colleagues was outstanding. The Mentor Collective team provided the expertise and technology that made it possible to effectively run a large-scale mentorship program in an entirely virtual environment. We are delighted to have this opportunity to give back and help shape the leaders of tomorrow.”
Through this partnership, Mentor Collective hosted a training workshop for the 100 Wells Fargo volunteer mentors that highlighted best practices around being an effective mentor. Participants were matched to a Student Impact Scholarship recipient by the Mentor Collective team based on shared interests, providing a common ground and foundation for these long-term and mutually beneficial relationships.
“I accepted the call of being a mentor as a way to pay forward the guidance and the support I’ve received in college and in my career,” said Ermes Becerra, Wells Fargo Student Impact Scholarship Mentor. “Being a first-generation college grad I had a lot of questions on what would happen post-graduation; am I prepared to enter the real world? Fortunately, I had a mentor, and from that point on I took on those relationships very seriously and I definitely recommend them to others because there are fruitful outcomes that come out of those relationships.”
The mentorship program aimed to build connections between mentors and mentees and provide opportunities for discussions around overcoming challenges, career advice, financial literacy, community impact, education, and more.
Bilisan Tassissa, a student at Montgomery College, was paired with Michelle Purcell, Project Management Manager with Wells Fargo’s Consumer & Small Business Banking. The pair have had over 50 touchpoints over the past six months.
“The reason why I chose to be a mentee is because I actually needed someone who could motivate me every step of the way,” said Tassissa. “I was born in Ethiopia, and coming here, I didn’t really have anyone that could pave the way and show me the path to excel in the workplace. I was also paying my way through school and wanted to talk to someone that could understand, and choosing to be a mentee was honestly the best decision of my life. It gave me confidence and motivation to keep moving forward; I can say I am a different person, and I came out better.”
Over the course of the program, the matched Wells Fargo mentors and mentees logged 912 conversations, and more than 1,000 SMS texts were exchanged. Nearly 200 conversations were reported in the final month alone, indicating that relationships strengthened during the program.
The mentorship program concluded on April 22, 2021, with the virtual Wells Fargo Student Impact Scholarship Celebration.
“We’re proud to assist Wells Fargo and APIA scholars in our shared mission to facilitate equity in higher education and increase student success through supportive and strategic mentorship initiatives,” said Jackson Boyar, Mentor Collective Co-Founder & CEO. “Together, we have created long-term relationships that will undoubtedly have a continued impact on both the mentors and the mentees, and we’re honored to have been a part of this collaboration.”
To learn more about Mentor Collective and our collective of institutions and thought leaders dedicated to closing the opportunity gap through mentorship, contact us today.