Newsletters Archive 2017

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Quarterly Newsletter : Spring 2017


In this issue 

(click on titles to jump to the section)


We are really excited about the positive feedback from our 2017 IMPACT Awards breakfast. Watch Arne Duncan, former U.S. Secretary of Education, share his thoughts on the power of relationships to change lives.
MENTOR Illinois, and 35 attendees from our state, joined over 1,000 participants in Washington D.C. for this year's National Mentoring Summit. Convened in February by MENTOR, the Summit is the only national forum bringing together youth mentoring professionals, researchers, philanthropic investors, government and civic leaders, and MENTOR’s local affiliates to explore building and strengthening quality relationships for young people across the nation and advancing the mentoring movement.
As part of the Summit, MENTOR Illinois shared our views with members of Congress on Capitol Hill Day. Leveraging the energy and knowledge of 400 passionate and experienced youth mentoring professionals, participants met with their Senators and Representatives about key bills and issues in Congress, as well as mentoring efforts happening in their communities. The cohort from Illinois met with staff from Senator Dick Durbin and Senator Tammy Duckworth’s offices, and visited with Representatives Danny Davis and Robin Kelly.
For more Summit highlights and dates for 2018, click here!
From their first synchronized stomp, the Gentlemen of Vision step team grabbed the attention of a packed hall at the National Mentoring Summit in Washington last month. The team is made up of young men from school systems in St. Louis County, that in recent years have been fighting off the label of “failing” – in some cases earning back lost accreditation.
In 2009, Marlon Wharton founded Gentlemen of Vision Rites of Passage Enterprises, Inc., (G.O.V.) in Riverview Gardens, Mo., to provide an alternative to the low graduation rates and heavy presence of gangs in the area. The students, who are mentored and visit college campuses, spend hours practicing the moves that have won them national championships.
Serving about 350 young men over the years, the group has a 100 percent high school graduation rate, with about 95 percent going on to college. The others join the military or the workforce, Mr. Wharton says.
It’s a humbling reminder of what adults can do to defend kids from whatever form of failure might be threatening to pull them down. (To see them in action, check out this public broadcasting documentary clip.)

Adapted from an article from CSM's EqualEd
Rising Stars in Mentoring Research: New Findings From Early Career Investigators 
At the National Mentoring Summit, this workshop provided participants an opportunity to hear from a new generation of mentoring researchers. These "rising stars" of mentoring research presented an overview of their latest findings and discussed how the findings could be applied to everyday practice.  The researchers discussed issues surrounding what mentors (and mentees) can do to increase overall academic success, as it relates to mentoring.  Findings included:
  • How natural mentors are the most common type of mentor for college sophomores, and their support can increase global self-worth, and reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, presented by  Noelle Hurd, PhD, University of Virginia.
  • The benefits of” Just-in-time” mentor training vs. traditional mentor training methods,  presented by Samuel D. McQuillin, PhD, University of South Carolina.
  • A discussion of the difference between “weak and strong ties” and how youth from lower income families have reduced access to natural mentors and caring adults who can promote upward social mobility, presented by  Elizabeth Raposa, PhD, College of William and Mary.
  • How mentor attunement (A mentor’s capacity to respond flexibly to youth’s verbal and nonverbal cues by taking into account youth needs and desire) is a key contributor to mentee success, presented by  Lindsey Weiler, PhD, University of Minnesota.
  • The benefits of training students in how to recruit natural mentors presented by Sarah Schwartz, M Ed, PhD, Suffolk University.
  • Mentoring program practices that directly address the challenges of children with an incarcerated parent had more effective mentoring relationships that were longer and stronger matches, and the mentees improved school outcomes, presented by  Rebecca Stelter, PhD, Innovation, Research & Training.
Click HERE to see the presentation.
MENTOR Illinois' Rockford Networking Breakfast 
Join MENTOR Illinois in Rockford for to learn more about the free resources we provide to youth development and mentoring organizations in Illinois, and to connect with other organizations and staff!
Registration is Free and Open Here

Sharing Back Office Services to Add Significant Values for NPO's
Lumity, 55 W Van Buren St #420, Chicago, IL 60605
In this panel discussion, leaders from nonprofits with extensive experience in using back office service sharing, such as IT services and supply chain purchasing services, will share with us the best practices for successfully engaging in such collaborative efforts.
Register Here

ReEntry Mentoring: Conversations from the Field on Working with System-Involved Youth
Thousands of youth are arrested each year, beginning a gateway for many into the juvenile justice system. Throughout the country, mentoring programs are providing system-involved youth with the opportunity to be connected to a mentor in their own community to stop the cycle. Join this webinar to learn evidence-based strategies for how your mentoring program can support system-involved youth. 
Register Here
Mentorship can Bridge the Nation’s Divides
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
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
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.
[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 

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

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

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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.  

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Chicago, IL 60603

Phone: 312-881-7767




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