Meet Us

CRYSTAL VALENTINE (SSP GRADUATE: St. Raymond Academy, 2012; NYU, 2016) Crystal Valentine grew up with her mom and three siblings in the South Bronx, where she was constantly bullied in her local public middle school. After joining the warm and supportive community at St. Raymond Academy and meeting her SSP mentor, Crystal's life changed for the better. CLICK TO READ MORE

BRIAN CABRERA (SSP GRADUATE: Monsignor Scanlan High School, 2008; New York University, 2012) Goldman Sachs Operations Analyst Brian Cabrera is set to meet his first SSP mentee in the fall of 2013. As an alum of the program, Brian knows what it means to be an SSP student. Armed with this knowledge, he is confident about entering his new role as a mentor. “It’s the best testimonial you can give,” says Brian of his experience as an SSP student.“I am proof that this program works. It’s about so much more than just finishing high school; it’s also about moving beyond that and accomplishing your goals.” CLICK TO READ MORE

EDDY CRUZ (SSP STUDENT: Cardinal Hayes High School, 2013) New York Times Scholarship Award Recipient Eddy Cruz will be graduating from Cardinal Hayes in the spring of 2013, after which he plans to pursue his M.M. and Master’s in Public Health at Cornell University this fall. “My dream has always been to become a doctor. With the help of Cardinal Hayes and my mentor, I feel ready to endeavor all I have planned.” CLICK TO READ MORE

JARED AILSTOCK (Mentor) As a busy young professional living and working in NYC, Jared notes that the time commitment required by SSP is extremely flexible. “Once I got to know my mentee, George, a senior at Bishop Ford High School, we were basically able to set our own schedule. That’s probably the best thing from a mentorship perspective. We both make time when we can, and whenever it seems like it’s been awhile since we’ve caught up, we pick up the phone and make it happen,” says Jared. CLICK TO READ MORE

LORA ROBERTSON (Sponsor) As a member of the SSP board, Lora has recruited many of her colleagues at Goldman Sachs to become mentors and financial sponsors to SSP students. When asked what counsel she would give to young mentors who are just starting out in their careers and at SSP, Lora expresses, “Honestly, I haven’t had to give much advice at all to my colleagues at GS! I’ve been awed at how energized and committed they are to the program and their students. I love hearing about the events they’ve planned with their mentees and how they have forged a connection.” CLICK TO READ MORE

SHALIA GARNETT (SSP STUDENT: Mother Cabrini, 2013) I am lucky. I am two months away from receiving my high school diploma from a nurturing high school. Because of Student Sponsor Partners, I have a friend and supporter in my sponsor, Natalie. Because of the opportunities Student Sponsor Partners opened up to me, I am going to Fairfield University next year on a full scholarship to study nursing.-Shalia Garnett CLICK TO READ MORE

MIKE KAICHER (Sponsor and Mentor) Mike Kaicher, Executive Director with Morgan Stanley Investment Management, manages a hectic schedule that involves heavy travel. But he is still able to find the time in his busy life to work with an SSP student. “The time commitment is real, but the support and flexibility offered are absolutely fantastic, making it very manageable,” says Mike of the program. CLICK TO READ MORE

KATHY LUGO (SSP Graduate: Monsignor Scanlan High School, 2006; Cornell University, 2010; Columbia University, 2011) “The moment we met six years ago, we connected instantly because we had very similar backgrounds. Our most compelling connection was that we were both SSP Alumni,” says Kathy of the incredible happenstance that brought her and Richard together.” CLICK TO READ MORE

COLM KELLEHER (Sponsor) For SSP supporter Colm Kelleher, extending educational opportu- nities to children is a cause that hits close to home. Says the current President of Morgan Stanley Institutional Securities and Head of EMEA and Asia Pacific of his personal experience in the classroom, “Educational rounding out gave me a career that I would never have had otherwise. We should be giving this opportunity to as many children as possible.” CLICK TO READ MORE

ANDREW BELCHER (Mentor) Andrew Belcher decided to get involved with Student Sponsor Partners when he saw that many of his colleagues were having great experiences Sponsoring and mentoring students through SSP. Having never volunteered with a similar program, Andrew said he was motivated to become active in SSP because, “I wanted to find a tangible way to get involved in the community, and when I heard about SSP’s success stories I knew this would be a great program and I would be able to make a difference.” CLICK TO READ MORE

LOUISE PITT (Sponsor and Mentor) When Louise Pitt arrived in New York from the United Kingdom, she looked for a way to get involved in her community. Drawn to organizations that had a tangible impact, Louise wanted a hands-on experience where her involvement could make a difference in someone’s life. Her interests meshed well with Student Sponsor Partner’s mission, and her employer, Goldman Sachs, supported SSP through its philanthropic outreach programs. CLICK TO READ MORE

KEVIN JACKSON (SSP GRADUATE: All Hallows High School, 1996; Indiana Institute of Technology, 2000) “I am where I am because of SSP.” Those are Kevin Jackson’s own words, and to hear him tell it, his life would look drastically different had he not been accepted into SSP nearly twenty years ago. CLICK TO READ MORE

AYANA MARTINEZ (SSP Parent) Soon after Tyler started eighth grade, one of Ayana’s former high school classmates mentioned that Tyler might be able to attend a private school through SSP. “After I heard about SSP, I knew it was the perfect opportunity for my son,” Ayana said. “Also, Monsignor Scanlan was one of the SSP schools, and I knew that it was a great school and the school I wanted Tyler to attend!” Ayana was also exicted by the prospect that Tyler would be paired with an adult male mentor: “With only his younger sister and me in the house, Tyler never had a male influence or role model. I thought it was an important thing for him to have.”

MICHAEL BRANDMEYER (Sponsor and Mentor) When Michael Brandmeyer discovered Student Sponsor Partners in 1999, it was a perfect fit for someone who wanted to give back to the community while balancing a demanding work schedule. “I wanted to find a program where I could help someone through their educational career. Most programs I looked at were inflexible with their time commitment, but Student Sponsor Partners’ mentoring model gave me enough flexibility that I was able to not only pay tuition for an under-served student but also personally mentor a student.”

EQUANA COBB (SSP GRADUATE: Monsignor Scanlan High School, 2003; SUNY Binghamton, 2008) Life has thrown quite a few curveballs into Equana Cobb’s young life. By all measures, she should be yet another sad statistic in New York – a high school dropout, or perhaps a juvenile delinquent. She certainly has had enough turmoil in her life to justify such an outcome. But instead, her story is one of hope and perseverance, thanks in part to the influence of Student Sponsor Partners. CLICK TO READ MORE

CHARLIE GUILAMO (SSP GRADUATE: All Hallows High School, 2003; Vanderbilt University, 2007) Growing up as the middle of three boys in the South Bronx, Charlie Guilamo has his fair share of boyhood adventures. He was an average student who didn’t really excel at school or feel a passion for learning. That all changed when his older brother received a scholarship from SSP to attend All Hallows High School, and paved the way for each of the Guilamo brothers to receive support from SSP. CLICK TO READ MORE

CLYDE GUILAMO (SSP GRADUATE: All Hallows High School, 2004; Northwestern University, 2008; Chicago-Kent College of Law, 2011) Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois is a long way from the South Bronx. Acres of trees and beautiful landscaping sit on the shores of Lake Michigan just 12 miles north of Chicago. For Clyde Guilamo, Northwestern was the culmination of years of hard work, and going there wouldn’t have been possible without the support of his family, his high school, and his SSP sponsor/mentor.

JANE EDDY (Sponsor and Mentor) In 1995, Jane Eddy put her name on a list to Sponsor a student at a Student Sponsor Partners-hosted cocktail party: a fairly typical introduction to SSP. Speak to Jane about her experience as a Sponsor over the past fifteen years, though, and it is obvious that her dedication to SSP and the seven students she has mentored has been extraordinary.CLICK TO READ MORE

ANDREW BORYGA (SSP GRADUATE: Mount St. Michael Academy, 2009; Cornell University, 2013) Every one of us can point to a time in our lives when we made a decision, or chose a path, that forever changed us. Suddenly, an entirely different future was laid out before us. For Andrew Boryga, that time was the summer of 2005, when he applied and was accepted to the SSP program. CLICK TO READ MORE

VIKAS GARG (Sponsor and Mentor) “With time I have watched my mentees gain confidence and charisma as a result of the positive school environments and support that SSP offers—it’s truly and amazing thing to witness and be part of.” CLICK TO READ MORE