About Us

Our Mission

The mission of Connections is to work in partnership with young people, families, organizations, and volunteers to curate long-lasting, supportive mentoring relationships that improve self-worth for young people with past, current, or peripheral contact with the child welfare or juvenile justice systems in New York City or Westchester County.

Our Program

Connections only does one thing – mentoring. We do it really well. We recruit, screen, train, and support adult volunteers to become caring, compassionate, positive adults to young people. Mentee participation is voluntary and the only incentive is the opportunity to develop a supportive relationship with a caring adult. Mentors and mentees are matched based on mutual interests, complimentary strengths and needs, geography, and amount of time they want to commit to each other. Matches are supported by Connections staff to ensure safety and growth, in close partnership with the young person’s clinical treatment team, for a minimum of one year. Connections is unique in that we stick with our mentees regardless of whether they change living situations or transition completely out of the system.

39% of Connections relationships choose to stay matched for longer than a year. Relationship closing is the healthy, natural completion of the Connections experience, marked with a closing celebration in which the pair reflects on their time together. Closing a relationship from Connections does not prohibit future contact between the mentor and mentee.

Click here to see our full Logic Model

Our Impact

Connections is unique. We stick with our mentees for a minimum of one year, regardless of whether they change living situations or transition completely out of the system. We have found that this model works – young people develop long-term relationships with a positive adult who genuinely cares about them, increasing their own sense of self-worth.

0%

of matches succeed in developing high-quality, long-term, meaningful connections.

0%

of youth applicants are accepted into Connections and matched with a mentor.

0%

of mentees are working toward their high school diploma, GED, or vocational program.

Interested in learning more about mentoring?

Our Team

Lia Taylor Schwartz
Executive Director
Passionate professional with demonstrated executive-level experience in non-profit organization management.
Lia Taylor Schwartz
Executive Director
Passionate professional with demonstrated executive-level experience in non-profit organization management.
Carina Pena
Program Coordinator
Carina transitioned from her career at a Wall Street recruitment firm to the nonprofit world of child welfare.
Carina Pena
Program Coordinator
Carina transitioned from her career at a Wall Street recruitment firm to the nonprofit world of child welfare.
Kyra Holiday
Program Manager
Passionate and charismatic professional with experience working in New York City’s child welfare and juvenile justice system.
Kyra Holiday
Program Manager
Passionate and charismatic professional with experience working in New York City’s child welfare and juvenile justice system.

Our Board

Melvin Emesibe
Business Analyst, Global Intelligence at Facebook
As a former foster youth, Melvin Emesibe has spent his adult life giving back, mentoring, and aiding individuals from under served communities.
Melvin Emesibe
Business Analyst, Global Intelligence at Facebook
As a former foster youth, Melvin Emesibe has spent his adult life giving back, mentoring, and aiding individuals from under served communities.
Michael Hattrup
Senior Vice President, Nueberger Berman
Michael is passionate about causes that support individuals achieving their full potential, particularly those that benefit children.
Michael Hattrup
Senior Vice President, Nueberger Berman
Michael is passionate about causes that support individuals achieving their full potential, particularly those that benefit children.
Michelle McMahon
Partner, Bankruptcy and Creditor’s Rights, Cullen and Dykman LLP
Michelle has been active in mentoring and has personally experienced the significant impact of mentoring - on both the mentee and mentor side.
Michelle McMahon
Partner, Bankruptcy and Creditor’s Rights, Cullen and Dykman LLP
Michelle has been active in mentoring and has personally experienced the significant impact of mentoring - on both the mentee and mentor side.
Paul Muratore
Founder, Connections Mentoring
Paul founded Connections upon his retirement from his role as President and CEO of Talent Partners, the leader in talent and production support services.
Paul Muratore
Founder, Connections Mentoring
Paul founded Connections upon his retirement from his role as President and CEO of Talent Partners, the leader in talent and production support services.
For more information on Connections Mentoring you can contact us by clicking here or call (347) 370-9320.