Many Hands: UnitedHealth Group’s Incredible Partnership with BestPrep

In the winter of 2007, thirty employees at UnitedHealth Group offered to serve as email mentors for a single class of high school business students through BestPrep’s eMentors program. After nine years of working together, UnitedHealth Group’s volunteer efforts have grown to reach thousands of students and stands as BestPrep’s largest corporate volunteer partner. This year alone, more than 600 of UnitedHealth Group employees amassed nearly 10,000 hours of volunteer service with BestPrep.

UnitedHealth Group employees in the classroom

Over the last decade, BestPrep has developed strong relationships within UnitedHealth Group. Gretchen Korf, UnitedHealth Group’s Vice President of Operations, is an alumni of BestPrep’s week-long Minnesota Business Venture camp and currently serves as Secretary of the BestPrep Board of Directors.

UnitedHealth Group plays a crucial role in a variety of BestPrep initiatives. As part of our Classroom Plus program, the company provides classroom speakers, hosts an annual Career Day, and participates in mock interviews that give students valuable professional insight. On May 11, UnitedHealth Group will host its fourth BestPrep Career Day, with an estimated 125 students in attendance.

The most remarkable source of UnitedHealth Group’s participation can be found in the eMentors program, a weekly email exchange between a mentor and student. From the single class of thirty students to 800 mentorships this year, the company has made a tremendous impact in Minnesota classrooms.

Adam Cohen, Senior Vice President, Optum Relationship Office, presents to students at Minnesota Business Venture

There is a sense amongst volunteers that serving as a BestPrep email mentor offers a unique way to help shape and impact our next generation, preparing them for college and careers. “Being an eMentor has brought me profound joy in reaching today’s youth,” recalls long-time mentor Renee Vevea, “As an employee, I’m thankful for a company that strongly supports the volunteer efforts of their employees and supports non-profit organizations such as BestPrep.”

UnitedHealth Group’s volunteer base is a testament to what can be achieved when partnerships are formed between education and business communities. And if the work we’ve already done together is indicative of our future, that’s something to get excited about.

Throughout May, UnitedHealth Group will be our featured partner. We will be highlighting more photos and stories during the month on Facebook and Twitter. Follow us to make sure you don’t miss an update!