Research all NYC schools

Research Now

Interview with Mentors from NYC (2020-2021)

May 05, 2021 Paris William Polatidis

During these challenging and trying times, the high school admissions process can seem daunting to many middle school students. The high school admissions process can be confusing under normal circumstances, let alone during a pandemic! When delving into the unknowns of this challenging admissions year, it can be important for middle schoolers to have an older, experienced person to guide them through this process. That’s where being a mentor comes in!

With all of the chaos in today’s world, many middle school students have struggled academically and emotionally. However, a mentor can help relieve this stress. During an interview with three of our current mentors at NYC, we spoke about the work it takes to be a mentor. 

One of the most striking aspects I noticed during our conversation is that everyone said that they have become better people as a result of their mentorship. Adrian, a ninth-grader at Fiorello H. Laguardia High School, admitted that he has grown as a person since he has become a mentor because of the “big responsibility” it entails. According to Adrian, he has to meet with his mentee, who is a sixth-grader, approximately once every two weeks to ensure that his mentee is on the proper steps to finding success in the high school admissions process. 

Mentors help organize and simplify their mentee's admissions process by helping them research specific schools that suit their interests. Connor, who is currently a sophomore at Xavier High School, also has a sixth-grade mentee who has a passion for baseball. When asked what he has done so far as a mentor, Connor stated that he has “helped his mentee build a high school list that fits his needs.” Connor also mentioned that he and his mentee have begun looking into high schools with strong baseball programs to ensure that his mentee pursues his interests. 

One of the most important aspects of an NYC mentorship is making sure that the mentee is at the right level academically. The mentors explained how they do this with IXL. Adrian explained that “IXL is a website that helps you progress in different areas such as English and Mathematics,” and stated that “the website also tracks your progress and allows you to see your improvements academically.” Furthermore, IXL’s Continuous Diagnostic Assessment is a handy tool for middle school students to use as a measuring stone to see how they are doing academically by giving an indication of where they lie based on the NY state standard. 

Though there is work involved in mentorship, that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun! Just ask Coco, who is a ninth-grader at Fiorello H. Laguardia High School and is currently mentoring a sixth-grader. When asked about what she enjoys most about being a mentor, she stated, “I enjoy helping other families and middle school schoolers find the right high school.” The other interviewees voiced similar opinions and have enjoyed their time so far as student mentors. “I do not consider my role at NYC Mentors a job,” Conor stated, “I enjoy meeting with a cool sixth-grader.”

When asked whether she would recommend other high schoolers to become mentors, Coco said that she would and explained the benefits of being a mentor. “It feels good to help other kids. Middle schoolers benefit from talking to high schoolers.” 

If you are interested in signing up to be a mentor or mentee please check out our sign-up form here.

Paris William Polatidis is a sophomore at Xavier High School in NYC. He enjoys playing tennis, writing for the Xavier Review, and helping others out when they need support. 

Join to

Join today and have a high school mentor guide your child through their middle school years

Join Now

Other articles

  • img

    How Volunteering and Extracurriculars Can Affect Applications and Where to Go?

    • April 11, 2023
    • Dean Domingo

    Volunteering and extracurriculars are activities that can benefit both the community and yourself. For middle school students, volunteering and doing extracurriculars provide opportunities to develop new skills and interests and demonstrate to high schools that you are well-rounded and hardworking. High Schools are always looking for capable students willing to do more than what is required. So if you’re not doing extracurriculars and/or volunteering, getting the headstart and being a part of a club or helping out your community is the best way to demonstrate to schools that you are a hardworking and all-around person.

    Read More

  • img

    Tips for Attending High School Information Sessions

    • March 28, 2023
    • Sereia Sarumida

    Public high school admissions decisions came out on March 9th, and families have until April 5th to accept an offer. Many high schools are now offering information sessions, open houses, and virtual events for accepted students. These events are the perfect opportunity to ask students and teachers detailed questions about the schools, so you can decide which one is the best fit for you. If you have trouble getting started thinking of questions to ask, asking these sample questions (divided by topic) can help you to consider a broad range of factors to decide on a school to attend!

    Read More

  • img

    How to Write an Outstanding Essay for your High School admission process

    • February 21, 2023
    • David Romero

    The highschool admission process is very stressful. With all of its different required parts, the essay section of the application can be really overlooked. The essays are a chance for the admission officer’s to get an insight into who the applicant really is. Numerous people can have very similar transcripts, but a creative and charismatic essay will make an application stand out.

    Read More

  • img

    How to Ask for a Recommendation Letter and How to Pick the Right Candidate for the Job

    • February 12, 2023
    • Dean Domingo

    Recommendation letters are a key aspect of high school applications and are a great way to demonstrate your character and abilities from another perspective. While not mandatory in some schools, it’s highly encouraged and should be seen as a requirement. But, who do you ask for a recommendation letter? Choosing who to ask is very important and should be someone that has seen your growth as a student. Most schools usually require at least one recommendation letter from a core teacher (Math, Science, Social Studies, etc) and one letter from either another teacher, mentor, coach, or counselor. So after making a list of potential candidates take some time to consider a very important question. “Who knows you the most?”. If you choose a candidate that barely knows you, their letter may sound disingenuous and phony. So when selecting a recommender, you should consider someone who has had a significant impact on your life and should be someone who knows you both academically and personally and can attest to your abilities, interests, achievements, and growth.

    Read More