As students return to classes for another year of academic achievements and challenges, employees of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond are expanding the mentoring assistance they provide to students at a Richmond high school through an innovative online program.
The Virginia Mentoring Partnership has selected the Richmond Fed to use iMentor Interactive, a secure online tool that allows mentors to establish and build supportive academic relationships with students. The program involves students at Huguenot High School in the Richmond Public Schools, and is a pilot project that may expand to other schools and other companies.
The online program supplements in-person mentoring by Richmond Fed employees with Huguenot students. Fed staff also mentor at Richmond's Bellevue Elementary School.
"Mentoring is a great way for our employees to contribute their time to something that has proven to offer real benefits to students," said Tammy Cummings, a senior vice president at the Richmond Fed and a board member of the Virginia Mentoring Partnership. "This new program allows us to take advantage of technology and involve even more students and mentors. It offers Richmond Fed employees the flexibility to be mentors at any time – from the office or at home – and is a way for mentors to interact with students in a secure online setting familiar to many students."
The online program will begin with a face-to-face meeting so that students and their mentors can get acquainted. Both students and mentors then will connect through the iMentor Interactive online program. A closing event at the school is planned at the end of the school year to review and celebrate accomplishments.
A number of Richmond Fed employees have signed up to be mentors and will undergo an orientation to the Web-based application they will use to mentor the students and to become familiar with the format of the mentoring program.
"We're delighted that the Richmond Fed is adding the online program to its mentoring initiative," said Jennifer Smith-Slabaugh, executive director of the Virginia Mentoring Partnership. "We look forward to learning how we might use their experience to bring iMentor Interactive to other schools and partner organizations."
The project at Huguenot High School also is supported by Communities in Schools of Richmond.
The Richmond Fed serves the Fifth Federal Reserve District, which includes the District of Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and most of West Virginia. As part of the nation's central bank, we're one of 12 regional Reserve Banks that work together with the Federal Reserve's Board of Governors to strengthen the economy and our communities. We manage the nation's money supply to keep inflation low and help the economy grow. We also supervise and regulate financial institutions to help safeguard our nation's financial system and protect the integrity and efficiency of our payments system.
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