2009 Nassau BOCES Education Partner Award Honoree
Jean Lahage Cohen
Mentoring Partnerships of Long Island and New York
Little did Jean Lahage Cohen know when she completed her graduate studies at business school that she would one day use her knowledge exclusively for the benefit of schools and young people.
Cohen is the brains—and the heart—behind the Mentoring Partnerships of Long Island and New York. This nonprofit organization brings together caring adults with children in need through safe, effective mentoring programs, while helping the mentoring community to expand throughout the region.
Formerly an economic business consultant to Fortune 500 companies, she has been involved with non-profit organizations for the past 25 years. Motivating and directing volunteers is one of her areas of expertise, having trained more than 7,500 volunteers in mentoring.
With the great team at Mentoring Partnerships, Cohen develops schoolbased programs, collaborates with businesses and government agencies and provides resources to hundreds of local programs. Under her auspices, Mentoring Partnerships has helped launch more than 150 mentoring programs in schools, churches, temples, businesses and youth agencies and has helped to guide more than 7,000 Long Island children from kindergarten through college. In addition, the organization placed more than 13,000 students in its Teens on the Job Shadow Day.
One of her goals for the future: to establish a mentoring program in every school district on Long Island. “Research has shown that children who have a caring adult in their lives have a better chance of staying in school, out of gangs and away from drugs,” says Cohen. “We hope that every child will have a mentor.”
Cohen holds a bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics–psychology from Brown University and a master’s degree from the University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business.