Volunteer Mentor Inspires NYC Kids

Mike Hiney, a volunteer mentor in The Fresh Air Fund's College Connections Program shared his experiences with us and just how critical the program is in helping New York City kids prepare for college.

"It's been a real transformation. I remember first seeing my mentees when they were juniors in high school and they were so overwhelmed with all the requirements for college, PSAT, SAT, college application essays and financial aid forms. Now, you can see they have gained confidence. They also may have started off thinking they wanted to go to a specific school, or declare a specific major, but they are now fully exploring what's available to them at college. They've become much more self-aware and are maturing right before your eyes. They are much more independent and they are doing really great work. I couldn't be prouder. At the College Connections Program Reunion Brunch for the college students home from school, you could see how many students had left the city and have gone outside their comfort zones. It's impressive to see that these students have been able to branch out so far and still will always consider The Fresh Air Fund home."

A New York City child's journey through The Fresh Air Fund can begin with your help