Mentoring Helps Extend Educational Access To NYC Teen

Hadleigh Kindberg, Communications Associate, MENTOR New York and Vanessa Greer, Mentor Program Manager, TEAK Fellowship
September 3rd, 2019
Posted In: Campaigns, Mentoring Stories

Tags: , ,

As the 2019 school year begins, one young teen is more excited than most!

Meet Mahamadou, a 14-year-old TEAK Fellowship mentee living in NYC.  Polite, thoughtful and very driven, Mahamadou is a young man with big goals: one goal being to expand his academic opportunities by attending boarding school.

Despite his young age, Mahamadou was determined to further his academic career and open doors to opportunity. He thought boarding school would help him on the road to success! However, his aspirations didn’t come without barriers. The boarding schools Mahamadou wanted to attend required applications, entrance exams, school visits and on-site interviews that required out-of-state travel. Luckily, Mahamadou didn’t have to face this process alone.

Photo Credit: MENTOR New York and Sunny Norton Photography

With the intervention of TEAK Fellowship and the right mentor, Mahamadou made his dream a reality and is starting this fall at a boarding school of his choosing in Connecticut!

Mahamadou met his mentor Paul a year and a half ago when TEAK Fellowship matched them. Paul, having attended boarding school on full financial aid himself, relates to the youth involved in TEAK Fellowship’s mentoring program. Paul’s educational experience shaped him, and so he made it his mission to consistently help others gain access and have support to improve their future.

Photo Credit: MENTOR New York and Sunny Norton Photography

At first, Mahamadou’s parents were reluctant about sending their young son out of state for boarding school. However, with Paul’s relationship as a trusted friend and mentor to Mahamadou and the family, he was able to help open their minds to the possibility and ease any worries. Paul even went above and beyond the expectations of a mentor when he helped with applications and taking Mahamadou on visits to the school.

Mahamadou has said, “I really appreciate my mentor taking me to boarding school visits, when my parents were unable to do so, and helping me with my applications and studying for the exam.”

For Mahamadou, this isn’t just the start of another school year; it’s a milestone achievement that he is immensely proud of and says he couldn’t have achieved without the help of his mentor Paul!


TEAK Fellowship is a NYC-based mentoring program that believes that motivation and potential, not economic circumstances, should determine a student’s future. MENTOR New York recently honored Paul at the 2019 Mentor of the Year Awards and has partnered with TEAK Fellowship over the past few years, referring mentors and providing technical assistance to their program.

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