The mentoring movement

Together, we can turn isolation into connection so no young person has to walk the path to adulthood alone.


MENTOR Illinois is a non-partisan, public-private affiliate of MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership that galvanizes the mentoring movement across Chicago and Illinois. We provide the leadership and infrastructure necessary to support the expansion of quality mentoring relationships. MENTOR Illinois also serves a unique role as a clearinghouse for training, resources, public awareness and advocacy, providing the critical link between MENTOR’s national efforts and local organizations and programs that foster and support quality mentoring relationships. As a designated MENTOR Affiliates, MENTOR Illinois informs and distributes national research and resources.


Mayor’s Mentoring Challenge

The two-year Mayor’s Mentoring Challenge for Chicagoans to serve as mentors for youth in need across our city was a tremendous success with over 2,000 individuals joining the challenge and serving as mentors to Chicago youth.

Arne Duncan John Rogers

Impact awards breakfast

Each year, MENTOR Illinois celebrates the champions of mentoring at the annual Impact Awards Breakfast, the only event where attendees engage with leaders in the field on the critical issues. This is the must-attend event for leaders and innovators in the field which honors organizations, businesses, and key individuals in Illinois who are making a difference through mentoring.


national mentoring summit

The National Mentoring Summit is the only national convening of youth mentoring professionals, researchers, MENTOR Affiliates, philanthropic investors, and government and civic leaders aimed at collectively strengthening and expanding quality mentoring relationships for young people across the country.




The In Real Life campaign was launched in response to President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative and the call-to-action to deliver on the promise of opportunity for all of our young people. Mentoring is a centerpiece of the initiative because of the proven impact on positive outcomes. Wanting to make an impact on the lives of boys and young men in communities of the highest need, the NBA joined MENTOR to develop In Real Life. It’s the first initiative the league has launched with the support of the entire NBA family – the league, the players’ association, and the retired players’ association – a reflection of the universal connection to mentoring felt around the league. Our goal is to build a grassroots movement of natural mentors like teachers, coaches, and family friends, formal mentors who work with a mentoring program, public and private sector supporters, donors, and advocates who believe that an asset so critical – mentoring – cannot be left to chance. A movement to connect every young person to the kind of meaningful relationships that provide us all with networks of support and opportunity.