#mypledge: Marcos Torres

Marcos Torres, Managing Director, RBC Capital Markets, is joined by his mentor and high school teacher, Michael Mehmet, as he shares his gratitude and commits to helping the next generation.

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Published May 9, 2023 | 2 min read

Recognizing potential

Marcos met Michael when Marcos was 16 years old. Michael had become the student activities coordinator at Marcos’ designated public school, Martin Luther King High School, located on the Upper West Side.

Michael says working at the school was challenging at times, but that Marcos was one of a handful of students that he knew had tremendous potential.

Michael endeavoured to help students like Marcos to channel their potential by getting involved in student government and developing leadership skills. Marcos credits Michael for helping him cultivate the same leadership skills he applies today in his career.

The impact of self-confidence

Remembering challenging high school years, Marcos reflects on growing up in a largely Latino and Black immigrant community in Harlem, New York City. "It was tough. My mom was on welfare, my dad did not work. We were homeless at times. I had a really, really complicated upbringing and lived in a different world than all of the folks that we saw around us when we went to school or when we went out socially to other places.”

However, Michael invited Marcos to explore the possibilities beyond his immediate circumstances. Through teaching valuable life skills and creating a loving, safe space at school, Michael helped Marcos develop the self-confidence to go out and chase his dreams.

Marcos’ pledge

Marcos says he is a living example of how mentoring and sponsorship change lives.

“Thank you so much Michael for being my mentor for so many decades and for all of the time and effort you invested in my life.

I pledge to continue paying it forward…not just with my money but with my time and effort.”

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