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Do Mentors Help Enable Financial Mobility? Fidelity Aims to Find Out.

Release Date: 19 Jan 2024
National Mentoring Month Newsroom Post Image

There are many factors that increase someone’s chances for upward financial mobility. Pay and earning power are certainly important components—but also critical are the support networks and systems that help people achieve those credentials and reach jobs which will increase their earning power. That is where mentors come into play.

In January 2023, Fidelity launched Invest in My Education – a $250 million initiative that provides opportunities, access to post-secondary education, training, and ongoing support to students from underrepresented populations. The program not only provides a college education with little-to-no-debt, but students are paired with Fidelity mentors to help guide them. 44% of Latino students are the first in their family to attend college[i], often with minimal family support to help them navigate through academic institutions.  30% of Black youth report never having a mentor[ii]. But we know how important mentors are to the trajectory of young peoples’ lives: 74 % of adults who were mentored as youth say that person contributed significantly to their success later in life[iii], and 69% say that this key relationship has helped them with issues related to their education.

In the first year of the Fidelity Scholars Program, 150 Fidelity associates in our three pilot regions raised their hands to mentor Scholars. These mentors are spread across the firm’s many businesses and range from junior associates who are early-on in their career journeys to senior leaders with decades of experience.  With 65% of the first class of Fidelity Scholars being the first in their families to attend college, these mentors are providing a roadmap and active counsel to help these students navigate college.

Using a combination of group mentoring and one-to-one pairs, Fidelity Scholars and Fidelity Mentors are intentionally matched, taking into consideration location, career tenure, and job function. We intend for mentors to work with the students for the duration of their college experience.  

“It’s a nice experience to have someone who can make sure you are in the right track and even motivate you to do your best. I treat my mentor like a friend, it’s much easier like this since we’re more like equals this way. It makes me have much more trust in her!”

Computer Science Student

Durham Technical Community College

North Carolina

“My Fidelity mentor is different from other adult role models in my life because I can trust them and speak to them about problems I'm having. They also differ because they understand my university problems as none of my close relatives went through college experience.”

Psychology Student

University of North Carolina

North Carolina

“My mentor has a friendly/family dynamic with me. I can always come to her first to freak out about whatever test I have and also be the first to know of my new accomplishments. As her opinion is highly valued. I love the way we can get on the same page and set goals.”

Film Student

St. Augustine University

North Carolina

“Student success is holistic-individual success – pretty much the same as success for any human, even outside of school. First and foremost, it is good health and wellbeing. Being well physically but also mentally and emotionally – feeling safe, confident, stable, and whole as an individual. It is feeling supported and having the resources to succeed, and then utilizing those resources to do so.”

Jameya Porter

Fidelity Scholars Mentor & Manager, Channel Marketing

North Carolina

“We have learned that the mentees require resiliency, and that they have it. One of our commuting mentees had a disruption to his transportation to campus, and now is dropped off at 6 am, even though his classes don’t start until 11 am.  But he had no other option, so just accepted this inconvenience, as he didn’t want to miss class.”

Scott Macmillan

Fidelity Scholars Mentors & Vice President, Experimentation


“To me, student success is having the confidence to make decisions about your future on your own. While we as mentors are providing support and acting as a sounding board when our mentees come across uncertainty, at the end of the day the mentees are the ones going through college and figuring out what they want to do in life. Feeling comfortable committing to your own decision when faced with a tough choice during that journey is a great place to be as a student.”

Ben Bishop

Fidelity Scholars Mentor & Lead Full Stack Engineer


Our Fidelity Scholars Program has long term goals, seeking to increase financial mobility and eventually, generational wealth for underserved communities. Fidelity has been committed to mentoring its associates for decades which has demonstrated the benefits to both mentors and mentees. We look forward to seeing these students through college and helping them land well-paying jobs after graduation. We’re years away from realizing the true impact of our program, but we look forward to hearing from our mentors and students as they deepen their relationships.  


Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC, Member NYSE, SIPC  900 Salem Street, Smithfield, RI 02917

The third parties mentioned herein and Fidelity Investments are independent entities and are not legally affiliated

© 2024 FMR LLC. All rights reserved.


[i] Source: Refinery 29, AXIOS

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