By, Libby Smith • Project Manager
When iMentor contacted us in January 2016, we were immediately drawn to the organization’s passion and mission: “iMentor builds mentoring relationships that empower first-generation students from low-income communities to graduate high school, succeed in college, and achieve their ambitions.” We were introduced to the Chicago branch, who wanted to create a video that would showcase their first year in the city, but also recruit new participants to the iMentor program.
The purpose of the video was to raise overall awareness to the brand which would, in turn, help recruit mentors for the rapidly growing program.
We wanted to create an experience for viewers that was emotionally compelling, yet fresh and vibrant; something that would appeal to the various age groups that would be viewing the finished product. The team at iMentor Chicago reached out to both current students and mentors within the program to share their stories with us. We agreed it was equally important to hear from the mentors about why they became involved, as well as have their student mentee explain how the organization has impacted them for the better.
One student, Denisse, explained, “the way I think about college is much different now. I used to think there was no way I could do it. My mentor actually changed my mind. I now know there are scholarships and financial aid, and there is always going to be an opportunity for you as long as you go for it.”
Over the course of one production day at North-Grand High School in Chicago, IL, the Motion Source crew captured a handful of interviews and documentary-style footage of iMentor students around the school. Not only did the interviews provide testimonials to the success and capabilities of the program, but they also gave insight into prospective mentors’ frequently asked questions. Using a classroom setting for the students visually pulls the audience into the students’ everyday space. The classroom symbolizes learning; a place where receptive minds can gather and absorb information, which is a student’s primary job. We chose to interview the mentors in the school library, as the library symbolizes a source of knowledge, which parallels the mentor’s relationship to their student.
The use of bold graphics and text helped incorporate statistics; these "factoids" show viewers that their involvement with the iMentor organization can, and does create real, quantifiable change.
“Today, iMentor serves more than 6,000 students through [their] direct-service programs in New York City, Chicago, and the Bay Area...” With your help, they can continue to grow and flourish. Want to have a chance to be a mentor and change a young person’s life? You can learn more at www.imentor.org.