Pro Bono Profile: Unlocking the Potential of Underserved Youth
This week, we’re celebrating Pro Bono Week by sharing stories about volunteers who’ve contributed their professional skills for the public good. We’re proud to feature this story about a Salesforce.org customer, iMentor, and their pro bono project with Salesforce employee Ryan Guest.
It’s easy to take our mentors for granted. We often don’t notice when they nudge us outside of our comfort zone or guide us into uncharted territory. I’m sure you can think of a time when a mentor stepped in to make something a little less…scary.
Mentors play an especially crucial role for teens striving to be the first in their families to graduate from college. But who do you turn to for advice when no one in your family went to college? That’s where nonprofits such as iMentor come in.
College-bound high school graduates
iMentor matches every student in the high schools they serve with a mentor to help guide young people on their journey to graduate from college. iMentor implemented Salesforce to match mentors with mentees and track their journey together.
After iMentor went live on Salesforce they quickly expanded beyond New York City to Chicago and the Bay Area. This growth revealed some unforeseen challenges with their processes, so iMentor connected with Ryan Guest, Software Engineering Architect, through Salesforce.org’s Pro Bono Program for support.
“A lot of people had the feeling, ‘Salesforce is so powerful, we feel like we’re not getting the most out of it,’” explained Ryan.
Ryan spent time talking to the iMentor team and realized their issues were easy fixes. For example, iMentor’s initial implementation only supported one time zone. It become necessary to schedule interviews with mentors in multiple time zones after iMentor expanded to new markets.
To scale with the growth, Ryan made some tweaks to their Apex/Visualforce code. iMentor can now interview mentors and make matches with students much more quickly, saving staff valuable time.
iMentor volunteer Brett with his mentee Alex
When Ryan heard about iMentor’s expansion into the San Francisco Bay Area, he signed up right away to mentor a student. He was matched with a high school junior named, Jorge. That was two years ago. Jorge just started his first year of college.
I asked Ryan what the most rewarding part of his volunteer experience with iMentor. “Without a doubt, the personal relationship I’ve development with Jorge. It’s been an amazing journey.”
Need help using Salesforce to increase your impact? Our Pro Bono Program combines two of our greatest assets, technology and the talent of our Salesforce employees, to help organizations maximize their implementation of the Salesforce platform.
About the Author
I joined Salesforce.org back in January with the aim of bringing together talented Salesforce employees with nonprofit organizations around the world. I believe the world can be a better place if we can connect people across cultural, economic and physical divides. By contributing time, talent, and passion to nonprofit organizations and their missions, we can touch the lives of people with very different backgrounds and experiences from our own.
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