Several White Bear Lake High School students recently traded in their jeans and t-shirts for button up shirts and ties when they visited Assurant’s Woodbury, Minn. offices to meet their eMentors.

The students were eager to meet face-to-face with the mentors who had provided them insights about the business world over email during the past eight weeks. For many, this also was the first time they visited an office setting.

During the program, students send weekly emails posing questions that focus on themes such as education, technology and leadership. In turn, mentors respond with stories of their own experiences and personal perspectives. These email exchanges are designed to help students understand what the workforce is like and to inspire them to think about the steps they will take after high school.

While the program is geared to prepare the students for their future, many of the volunteers get just as much out of the program.

“I support the eMentors program because I love helping young people on their life journey,” said Jim Schuster, director, Change Control and Service Coordination at Assurant. “Young people are frequently focused on the ’here and now‘, so anytime we can help them glimpse what their future may be like we’re doing them a tremendous service.”

This is the third year in a row that Assurant employees in Woodbury served as eMentors. The program is sponsored by BestPrep, a non-profit agency whose mission is ‘to prepare students with business, career and financial literacy skills through hands-on experiences that inspire success in work and life’ throughout Minnesota. Assurant has been a corporate sponsor of BestPrep since 2000.