Empire Mentorship Initiative

The Empire Mentorship Role Model


Our Mission

To Create and sustain healthy mentoring relationships through safe, honest, and fruitful experiences.

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Our Vision

Teach and inspire young people to reach their hidden potential through healthy, honest, and productive mentoring relationships.

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Our History

February 4th, 2013, adopting a proven curriculum for one on one mentoring, The Empire Mentorship Initiative formed out of passionate and vision minded community leaders. By September 2013, EMI partnered with The Higher Education Resource Center (HERC) in Boston while working alongside a northeast regional team from New York to Maine. Collectively, the Northeast Regional team matched over 600 young people to a mentorship experience. EMI matched 127 young people of those to a one to one and group mentoring experience.

Our Support

The Empire Mentorship Initiative uses support from communities, political offices, and spiritual congregations. Communities within the Lower East Side, Chinatown and Washington Heights. Political donors like Councilwoman Margaret Chin and support from Rosie Mendez. Even the unwavering convictions of NYC congregations who believe in the goal of mentorship to stem the violence within inner city neighborhoods. Will you #SUPPORTHELEGACY and become another financial supporter of our program?


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Our Success

Vision Urbana Inc. is grateful for the success of our Empire Mentorship Initiative!
Please take a moment to read this exciting update on our program!

The Empire Mentoring Initiative (EMI) has been operating for two years reaching various measures of success! We are humbled and delighted to report that EMI has, to date, secured over 234 mentees and 178 mentors in New York City, with 140 young people matched in a one-to-one and group mentoring experience!
EMI is community-based in the Lower East Side and committed to connecting healthy and trusting adults with youth, with the purpose of impacting their lives in a positive way. In addition to one-to-one mentoring, our program is proud to announce our implementation of college readiness and health and wellness programs as part of what we call our mentoring continuum.

MENTOR® Recognition!

In 2015, EMI experienced a wonderful night of acknowledgement and praise from MENTOR®, The National Mentoring Partnership Organization, for one of our very own mentors, Martin Bowman, who received the distinguished honor as the 2015 Mentor of the Year Award for his supportive role in his protege’s life for over two years. Research indicates that the element of true impact occurs in a mentor – mentee relationship that reaches and extends beyond the 12 month mark. Vision Urbana’s EMI along with the dedication of staff, volunteers, and the support of the community made this match possible!


Legends of Loisaida Art Project


Vision Urbana is proud to provide arts and culture projects with the support of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Center to enrich the lives of teens across the Lower East Side through holistic youth development programming.

The Legends of Loisaida art project mentored 15 burgeoning teen artists from Vision Urbana Inc. under legendary Lower East Side muralist Chico to learn and immortalize the history of nine Loisaida community activists and organizers through canvas paintings to then showcase their artwork in ambulatory exhibits across various community centers, cultural and open space venues to educate the younger and older generation on the history of these legends.

613 Youth Mentored

“RLCDC, Congregation Lion of Juda (City Passage) in Boston, Root Cellar in Maine, Multicultural Service Center for All in Rhode Island, Vision Urbana in New York, and Youth Storm in New Hampshire undertook an aggressive project in January 2013 with the goal of serving 490 youth in mentoring relationships by October 2013. The goal was surpassed September 30 by over 25% as we created mentorship opportunities for 613 youth. The measure outcomes are extremely impressive as the lives of youth were impacted positively.”

Restoring Lives Community Development Corporation