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 Chicago Mayor's
Mentoring Challenge


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There are lots of ways you can make a difference for young people in our community.  Find out more about how you can help.


MENTOR Illinois News

Press Release: Mayor Emanuel Doubles Mentoring Challenge


Mayor Rahm Emanuel Announces Efforts to Fund Mentoring Progr...

Mayor Rahm Emanuel Announces Efforts to Fund Mentoring Programs On September 22nd, Mayor Rahm Emanu [ ... ]

2017 Mentoring Campaign Toolkit
2017 Mentoring Campaign Toolkit

2017 Mentoring Campaign Toolkit  MENTOR | The National Mentoring Partnership,  has create [ ... ]

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MENTOR Illinois on Twitter

ILMentoring RT @MENTORnational: READ: Last night, the House passed the Child Protection Improvements Act! Learn how this bill will #KeepKidsSafe: https…
ILMentoring Great webinar 1pm today: Learn how to leverage effective mentoring practices as a manager for office interns.…
ILMentoring MENTOR Illinois Update: Upcoming Events, Opportunities, Resources -
ILMentoring Pls contact your MOCs to support critical funds for mentoring!

Resources & Reviews

Mentorship Can Bridge the Nation’s Divides

mentorship bridge

In this political climate, citizens of all sides of the divides can learn from research on mentoring relationships between adult volunteers and youth, often people interested in building relationship but coming from different cultural, economic, and social backgrounds.

Mentoring creates relationships that bridge differences. Such bridges are challenging to build, even for the most committed adults. Yet, building these bridges pays off, both at the individual and societal level. Click HERE to read more.

20 Actions that Strengthen Family Relationships

family relationships

Most of us know that quality relationships are important in the lives of youth. And families play big roles in positive youth outcomes, preparing them for success in school, work and life.


Do you want to build strong developmental relationships in your family? Start with these 20 actions, which are adapted from Search Institute's Developmental Relationships Framework to focus just on families. Click HERE to read more. 

Being Black is not a Risk Factor: Statistics and Strengths-Bases Solutions

logo nbcdi

The narrative surrounding Black children and families often feeds a sense of despair and hopelessness. In 2013, the National Black Child Development Institute (NBCDI) released its national report challenging the prevailing discourse about Black children, which overemphasizes limitations and deficits and does not celebrate the considerable strengths, assets and resilience demonstrated by our children, families and communities.
Read the full report HERE.

Funding Opportunities 

[Various] America's Promise Alliance Funding Opportunities (the grants and funding opportunities listed here are currently accepting applicants.), apply HERE.


[Rolling] DeKalb Community Foundation's Emergency Grants (formerly known as Opportunity Grants, available to assist local organizations in need of funding to meet emergency needs or for special time-limited projects), apply HERE.


[Rolling] Andrew Family Foundation Junior Board Grant (programs that seek to impact youth through traditional academics, arts, and sustainability), apply HERE


[Rolling] Educational Assistance and Training Grant (programs that seek to improve literacy, math, science, and life skills of disadvantaged youth), apply HERE


[Rolling] FREE Online Grant Training, register HERE.

[Rolling] Wish You Well Foundation Family Literacy Donation (programs that focus on youth and family literacy), apply HERE


Up to 50 hours of free TA for mentoring programs!

logo mentoring resource center

Stay on the cutting edge of mentoring best practices and research!


MENTOR Illinois can provide programs up to 50 hours of FREE in-depth, and specialized assistance. To receive technical assistance, programs must apply through the National Mentoring Resource Center HERE.


Questions? Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Director of Programs and Partnerships


Need Help Recruiting Mentors?

mentoring connector

Potential mentors can find volunteer opportunities through the Mentoring Connector, an online national database of mentoring programs.

ADD your program to the database, click HERE.

UPDATE your program information, login HERE.

SEE what the database looks like, click HERE

Questions? Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Director of Programs and Partnerships


Follow MENTOR Illinois and be a part of the conversation.


Welcome to MENTOR Illinois


MENTOR Illinois is the unifying champion for quality youth mentoring in Illinois, providing resources, technical assistance, heightened public awareness and advocacy for the state's mentoring movement. 


MENTOR Illinois is committed to helping the over 400 youth mentoring programs currently operating in Illinois to ensure that their programming meets national best practice standards and to help them find the mentors and support they need to serve the many children in need in their communities.  MENTOR Illinois is also committed to helping close the substantial “mentoring gap” in Illinois.


While thousands of children in our state already have the benefit of caring supportive volunteer mentors, far more desperately need that support. In fact, almost 1 in 5 children and youth in Illinois report that they do not have a caring adult to whom they can turn for guidance and support.

Mentoring Works!

Mentoring is a research-proven strategy for both guiding developing minds and redirecting youth who have gone astray.


As the City of Chicago struggles with painful levels of youth violence, mentoring is already making a difference in the lives of thousands of young people in Illinois, including reducing their involvement in bullying or violent behavior.


Research has found that children and youth involved with consistent, caring mentors:

—  are less likely to participate in bullying or other violent behavior.
—  have better school attendance, a better chance of going on to higher education, and better attitudes toward school.
—  are less likely to engage in substance abuse and other negative youth behaviors.
—  have more positive social attitudes and relationships, including with their parents.
—  are more likely to actively plan career goals and take steps to realize them.

96% of existing mentors would recommend mentoring to others.

Creating a strong, effective network of mentoring organizations is vital to ensuring the health and well-being of our state’s children and youth.


Tell Us About Your Program!

We are anxious to learn about all the wonderful mentoring programs in our state.  


MENTOR Illinois partners with Dr. David DuBois from the University of Illinois at Chicago on a bi-annual survey to guide MENTOR Illinois services and ensure they are responsive to the needs of youth mentoring programs across the state. Survey results also provide a richer picture of youth mentoring in Illinois for funders and policy makers.


We would love to include your program as one of our partners!  Please take a few moments to tell us about your program by adding your program information to our Mentoring Connector – a national database of youth mentoring programs that increases visibility.  Thank you!


The Faces of Mentoring



Here are some interesting statistics on the impact and benefit of mentoring.  

[click the image to view infographic larger]

Meet Our Board

 We are grateful for the experience and expertise our board members contribute to our mentoring programs. Meet the people who make up our Board of Directors

For Programs

 The key to a successful program is having a vast and varied set of resources to help with planning and implementation.  Here you'll find tools and information to help you succeed.

For Mentors

Mentors can make a huge difference in the life of a child.  We want to help you be prepared for a positive mentoring experience by offering you these resources.


We'd like to introduce you to the Corporate and Program Partners who contribute so much to the success of our mentoring programs.  

Contact Us

MENTOR Illinois

208 S. LaSalle Street, Suite 1490

Chicago, IL 60604

Phone: 312-516-5559



MENTOR Illinois Partnership Brochure

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