In honor of National Mentor Month, we at Higher Achievement want to highlight Ali Tajdar, a mentor at Baltimore’s Cherry Hill Achievement Center. Mr. Ali mentors four wonderful scholars at Cherry Hill, Na’im A., Andrew B., Jordin M., and Che-Keva W.. Mr. Ali started at center last semester with high energy that has since resonated with scholars, staff, and parents. He takes pride in identifying areas of interest of his scholars and he follows through by allowing them to go out and experience their interests. Mr. Ali is also able to identify academic challenges that scholars may have. In the short time that he has been with us, Mr. Ali has demonstrated EXCELLENCE and COLLABORATION through his knack for high expectations and consistency.
Mr. Ali emphasizes the importance of having a mentor and recalls his own experience growing up with a mentor. He understands that “a mentor inspires and propels you to set and achieve your goals, realize and actualize your potential. A mentor is a teacher, a coach, and a friend and has your best interest at heart.” Mr. Ali uses this belief every day with his scholars at center, knowing that even if he doesn’t experience the same things as his scholars, he can always encourage them to seek excellence in themselves personally, professionally, and spiritually.
Furthermore, Mr. Ali has dedicated his time to Higher Achievement as an ambassador of our mission. He has assisted us in recruiting mentors at our Baltimore centers, joined our newly formed Young Professionals Board, and attended every Higher Achievement event all while mentoring his four scholars on a weekly basis. When asked why Higher Achievement, Mr. Ali exclaimed the following:
I developed a bond not only with the scholars, but with their parents and the Higher Achievement staff as well. I felt right at home, as if I were part of a family unit. Although I don’t know all the scholars, I feel deeply connected to all of them and am invested in their success. I find there is no better time to introduce a mentor to kids than at this stage, when kids are in the 5th/6th grade – a mentor who may be able to spark a transformational and lasting change. The few hours that I spend at Higher Achievement every week are among my favorite times of the entire week.
In addition to working with our Higher Achievement scholars, Mr. Ali works for one of our amazing and supportive corporate partners, T. Rowe Price. Mr. Ali is an analytics manager in the Client Markets Insights; he works on initiatives to improve or enhance client acquisition, retention, engagement, and the overall business strategy of their individual and retirement plan services groups. When asked what brought him to T. Rowe Price, Mr Ali outlined his family’s intentions:
I came to T. Rowe in 2014. The initial reason for the move was to be closer to family in DC. My children were two and 6 months at the time, and my wife and I wanted to be closer family. However, when I met with the management teams at T. Rowe, it was clear that besides the benefit for our family, this is where I wanted and needed to be. The culture of the firm is amazing; they care for the growth, support, and development of their associates, encourage them to volunteer and give back to the community, and have a strong diversity and inclusion work culture. Despite being a company with over 6K people, it’s a very close knit community of associates and very common to network with associates in various departments for mentorship, career advice, and guidance.
Mr. Ali puts a clear emphasis on community. When we asked his Center Director, Kyisha Woods, what he offers at Cherry Hill, her response was the same; “Mr. Ali brings his sense of community. He has a natural talent to be able to bring us all together.” With all of this, we would like to say a huge thank you to Mr. Ali for all of his hard work dedicated to the success and growth of our Higher Achievement scholars. THANK YOU!
Are you inspired to support our Baltimore scholars? Join our mentor team today!