Helping young people reach their potential

Mentors making a difference

In 2014, our New York–based Multicultural Employee Resource Group (MERG) observed that young men of color were falling behind in the classroom. Our employees couldn’t stand by and watch the students lose their opportunity to learn, because a good education is the foundation for a better future.

In partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City, MERG created Bridging the Gap, a mentorship program to help close the achievement gap for young men of color. The first cohort entered the program in 2015, and every student who participated is on track to graduate from high school this spring.  

“I chose to become a mentor because I can personally attest to the benefits of having one as a young man of color,” says Jerrel Baker, an Associate Lead Analyst in Public, Project and Infrastructure Finance for Moody’s Investors Service. “This is my avenue to pay it forward.”

Currently, 50 Moody’s mentors are coaching 45 mentees from Brooklyn’s Eagle Academy for Young Men II on college readiness, communication, problem-solving and teamwork. In addition to college tours, the students participate in cooking classes to learn healthy eating habits and improv classes to become better public speakers. With every experience, we see the students growing more confident and capable.

We look forward to expanding this program model to other communities where we do business to help more young men of color succeed.