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MENTOR New York Names Pat Banhazl Mentor of the Year

Only Five Mentors Out of Thousands Are Selected to Be Honored 

MENTOR New York has named Pat Banhazl, school to career coordinator for Baldwin High School, one of the five outstanding mentors from across New York State to be recognized with 2020 Mentor of the Year Award. Award recipients were selected by a volunteer committee comprised of JPMorgan Chase employees based on their unique and powerful mentoring relationships. 

Ms. Banhazl was specifically chosen because of her work with the Baldwin Union Free School District’s mentoring program, which she initiated more than 20 years ago. A mentor herself, the program has grown to include over 400 yearly pairs of mentors and their mentees under her supervision. This year, due to the pandemic, she interacted with her mentee, Gordon, virtually. It was this special relationship she developed with the mentee, and the overwhelming impact she has had on this students’ life that Ms. Banhazl is also being honored. In addition to her work with MENTOR New York, Ms. Banhazl has been instrumental in the success of the school-to-career program at Baldwin High School, particularly her involvement with Northwell Health’s Shadow Days and Spark! Challenges.

“As New York navigated a global pandemic with physical distancing and a transformation of our daily routines, mentors became the front-line support for young people throughout the state. This year’s Mentor of the Year award recipients have impressed us with their dedication to maintain their relationships with their mentees during extraordinary times and lifting up their voices,” said Brenda Jimenez, CEO of MENTOR New York. “Each mentor has demonstrated they value the brilliance and uniqueness of their mentee and built a relationship centered on joy.”

For over 25 years, MENTOR New York has been the go-to resource for building sustainable and mutually beneficial mentoring programs. MENTOR New York partners with nearly 850 mentoring programs that serve approximately 80,000 young people throughout the state. MENTOR NY is an Affiliate of MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, the national nonprofit unifying and elevating the mentoring movement. Baldwin UFSD and MENTOR New York have worked closely for the last two decades and celebrate this special partnership at the high school’s annual Mentoring Dinner, organized by Ms. Banhazl. Last year, Plaza Elementary School’s mentoring program was handpicked to be highlighted at MENTOR New York’s annual benefit, where a video of the school’s 5th graders discussing their positive experiences as a mentee was viewed by guests and posted online.

All five award recipients and their mentees will be recognized during a virtual awards ceremony and fundraiser on September 24, 2020 from 6 pm – 7 pm.

For more information about MENTOR NY, visit