At the start of our City Year we were under the impression that we would be working with other AmeriCorps members to support the amazing students in 26 Chicago neighborhood schools. We were happy to find out that City Year provides AmeriCorps members with opportunities to grow professionally. One opportunity is through a partnership with Deloitte that pairs 30 AmeriCorps members with Deloitte professionals who serve as mentors throughout the year. The Deloitte Mentorship Program contains workshops, such as resume building and personal branding. In addition, we schedule time with our mentors outside of our regular meetings so we can receive more personalized support.

Here are three of our personal accounts of our experiences with our Deloitte Mentors.

Ja'Lon Brown, serving at the Sherman School of Excellence

My first initial thought being a part of City Year was that this was going to be a year of service where I’m providing mentorship to the youth of Chicago. I definitely was surprised that we were offered different opportunities to take part in to help us grow as individuals. I had the privilege of being offered a place in the Deloitte Mentorship Program. The first day of program, my mentor Kevin Clark had walked up and introduced himself to me. I was shocked to that he knew me. My relationship with my mentor has been a very beneficial one. I learned a multitude of skills that has helped me in developing my professionalism. Kevin has been a remarkable mentor he’s given life advice and helped me revamp my resume for future opportunities. I’m grateful for being paired up with Kevin. 

Antonio Marshall, serving at the Johnson School of Excellence. 

I have the pleasure of being paired with Shaun Pinto who works as a Senior Audit Assistant at Deloitte. Coming into the relationship I was weary of what I could get from Shaun with me being older than him, but Shaun has helped me tremendously. After making the simple connection that both of us were Cubs fans, I was convinced Shaun was the guy for me. It turns out that our closeness in age really works in my favor as Shaun coaches me through the process of becoming a professional. Most importantly he has affirmed for me that this road isn’t easy and that it requires a transition just like any major step in life. One of my biggest struggles was and still is transitioning from an environment where I was established to joining a new organization where I need to reestablish myself. Shaun has also provided me critical feedback around resume building. More important than anything I am humbled by the opportunity to have a mentor can coach me through my struggles as he overcome some of the same struggles as me. I also appreciate that fact that our relationship is a two way street and we both are constantly learning from one another.

Renee Metellus, serving at the Phillips Academy High School, and Antonio Marshall, serving at the Johnson School of Excellence. 

My Deloitte mentor, Sharlene, has been such a great help to me in the short three months that I’ve known her. We are similar in many ways – we like to hang out and eat, and we can chat easily about anything from politics to movies on Netflix. She is not much older than me, but our professional experiences are so different that she is able to give quality, objective advice when needed. Another great thing about our similar personalities is that seeing a compassionate, service-minded Sharlene thrive with a successful career in the private sector makes me feel that I can achieve anything I want. I love that my mentor is always willing to meet up and help me set goals to achieve my post-City Year goals.

The most valuable piece of advice that Sharlene has shared with me thus far is that connections with people are everything. She stresses the importance of having good relationships because you never know when you meet someone who can one day turn an interview into a job offer. My mentor also has a way of speaking to me that shows me she is both honest and invested in helping me succeed. Even when we are both having really busy weeks, Sharlene is always a text message or email away, and that is why I really value her. Having an accountability partner and a genuine person talk to has been more than beneficial this year, especially at times when I have been completely surrounded by City Year and find it hard to focus on my end goal. I can’t wait to continue learning from her during this year of service.  

Thank you to our Deloitte Mentors! We appreciate your commitment to our success!

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