Feb 20, 2015

BX WIN Volunteers with SEO Scholars


Since September 2014, seven Blackstone employees, all members of BX WIN, have volunteered as one-on-one mentors for 11th grade students through SEO Scholars. SEO Scholars is an eight-year academic program that gets low-income public high school students to and through college, with a 95% college graduation rate.

BX WIN is a Blackstone program designed to create a network of incoming professional women at the analyst and associate level across the firm. Each class is encouraged to deepen connections, exchange ideas and leverage one another’s experiences through formal BX WIN events and on their own. This partnership with SEO Scholars is a great example of the BX WIN network at work. 

“A group of the women at Blackstone were looking for a way to become more involved in the community with an organization that has a proven record of successfully helping students prepare for their college experience,” said Kassy Shiotani, a member of BX WIN and an Analyst at Strategic Partners. “We understood that the SEO Scholars had to undergo a rigorous application process and we were excited to be working with students who are so committed to graduating from college.”

“All seven of the Blackstone mentors have made significant contributions to our mentoring program and impacted the lives of their mentees,” said SEO Scholars staffer Samantha Moreno. “They have been able to provide individualized and meaningful attention that is rarely attainable for these 11th graders. Each of the Blackstone mentors has gone above and beyond the hours that we ask from them. They are in regular communication with their mentees and have even taken the extra time out of their weekend to take their mentees on outings (a Knicks game, bowling, movies) – things that are generally well beyond the reach of these low-income students coming from households with median incomes of less than $25K. They bring an energy and excitement to each mentor session that we look for in every mentor we bring onboard!”

Mentor Perspectives:
“I have greatly enjoyed working with SEO Scholars thus far. I have already formed a strong bond with my mentee and I’m incredibly impressed with her progress and with the organization’s impact on these students. It’s an amazing organization and I feel very fortunate that I am able to participate.” Gabi Starfield – Analyst, Blackstone Real Estate

“SEO has been a tremendous opportunity for members of Blackstone to connect with the NYC community. My mentee gives me so much inspiration in the way she dreams big and works hard to attain her goals despite the struggles she faces in her daily life. I am grateful to have been able to build such a strong bond with her and look forward to many years of friendship and guidance.” Olivia John – Principal, Blackstone Real Estate

Mentee Perspectives:
“Ivana my mentor is really a sweet person. She is always there for me to solve my problem(s). I have an open relationship with her in which I can tell her anything without any hesitation. I am so lucky to have her as a mentor who is always there to guide me.” Prabhjot

“I consider my mentor, Gabi, as an older and flourished version of myself. We both tend to rant together about the abundance of work we are given, but at the end of the day, we are able to accomplish great things and see that the hard work truly paid off. Gabi has helped me with so many things not only regarding SEO Scholars, but coming up with ideas for succeeding in a club presidency. We make the best of our time together.” Darla

“Over the past few months, Vanessa and I have gotten to know each other a lot more. She became aware of my interests, my cultural background, family and school life. She even got a chance to read my personal essay for an enrichment program I applied for!  I love how Vanessa is always willing to offer me help whenever I need it and is very responsive to my emails and texts. She helped me develop my rationale for doing certain summer enrichment programs and scrutinized my resume while making sure to provide constructive feedback on how to make it more consistent and detailed. I look forward to her continued guidance in my high school career and beyond.” Cesay

“My mentor is always so enthusiastic. If I'm having a bad day, just speaking to her and knowing she has such a positive attitude improves my mood. She gives great advice and definitely wants the best for me.” Selena

To learn more about mentoring with SEO Scholars, please visit: http://www.seoscholars.org/support/mentor/