Illinois Mentoring Partnership Appoints New Executive Director
Champion for mentoring enters next phase of growth in Illinois with new leadership

Robin Melvin
Illinois Mentoring Partnership
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Chicago, IL: Robin Melvin, Board Co-chair of MENTOR Illinois, and Paul Crimmins, Board Chair of LINK Unlimited Scholars (LINK), jointly announced the appointment of Margie Morris as Executive Director of MENTOR Illinois, effective April 1, 2015. Morris assumes the leadership role with the MENTOR Illinois following her tenure as Director of Mentor Recruitment & Relations with LINK.

"We are excited to build on the momentum gained over the past two years, moving MENTOR Illinois from 'start-up' to 'speed-up' and fulfilling its mission to serve as the unifying champion for quality youth mentoring in Illinois. By providing resources, technical assistance, and heightened public awareness of the benefits of mentoring, the IMP is a strong advocate for quality mentoring that supports healthy youth development across Illinois," said Melvin. "Margie joins us at a time when her strategic focus and fundraising skills will help expand our reach and deepen our impact in Illinois."

"MENTOR Illinois is working toward a day when Illinois will have a qualified mentor for every youth who needs one," said Morris. "Studies show that youth mentoring has many benefits - helping youth avoid risky behaviors, bolstering their self-esteem, improving high school graduation and college enrollment rates, and sharpening inter-personal skills - all of which lead to stronger outcomes for mentees and, by extension, to a stronger future for Illinois. I look forward to leading the MENTOR Illinois effort to make this vision a reality in our state."

Crimmins noted, "At MENTOR Illinois, Margie will be able to continue the important work she has performed at LINK, but on a statewide basis and serving a variety of organizations. We are very proud that a LINK executive staff alum has been appointed to such an important statewide position."

At LINK Unlimited Scholars, Chicago's highest performing and most experienced African American scholarship and mentoring program, Morris oversaw the mentoring initiative, including recruitment, training and on-going support for a 300+ mentor cohort, as well as charitable donations that contributed a third of the organization's annual budget. Under her leadership, LINK implemented multiple enhancements to meet or exceed best practices in the mentoring field, earning Gold Star recognition for quality programming from the MENTOR Illinois. As a member of the LINK Leadership Team, Morris participated in strategic planning to ensure the strength and sustainability of the organization. She previously served two terms as Board Chair of Pillars, the largest mental health and social service agency in southwest suburban Chicago, and spent seven years in Corporate Financial Services marketing with Northern Trust in Chicago and London. Morris received an A.B. in Economics from the University of Chicago.

MENTOR Illinois is one of 26 affiliates of MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, a network of non-partisan, public-private organizations that galvanize local or statewide mentoring movements, providing the leadership and infrastructure necessary to support the expansion of quality mentoring relationships. MENTOR Illinois serves as a clearinghouse for training, resources, awareness, and advocacy, providing the critical link between MENTOR's national efforts and local organizations that foster and support quality mentoring relationships in Illinois. Established in 2012, MENTOR Illinois is a 501(c)(3) organization headquartered in Chicago and serving the whole state.

For more information on MENTOR Illinois, please visit us at

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