Strengthening the Mentoring Movement




MENTOR Illinois is dedicated to supporting quality mentoring services for Illinois youth. Below are some initiatives we have implemented to strengthen the mentoring movement. Together, we can turn isolation into connection so no young person has to walk the path to adulthood alone.

MENTOR Illinois Mentoring Connector

Mentoring Connector

The Mentoring Connector is the only national database of mentoring programs. The Mentoring Connector is a free service that helps quality youth mentoring programs across the country recruit more local volunteers while greatly increasing visibility for their organizations. Anyone interested in becoming a mentor can search for mentoring opportunities by zip code, ages of youth served, and program type to find and contact programs that interest them.

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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.

MENTOR Illinois Awareness Campaigns

Monthly awareness campaigns

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.

MENTOR Illinois Mentoring Advocacy

Mentoring Advocacy

1 in 3 young people in the U.S. will grow up without a mentor of any kind. Help us close this gap — be a #MentoringAdvocate! Raise your voice, share your knowledge, and affect positive change through engagement with Congress and other influencers in your communities.

Data Collection

Coming Soon

MENTOR Illinois Chicago Mentoring Collaborative

Chicago Mentoring Collaborative

The Chicago Mentoring Collaborative (CMC) is committed to strengthening the depth, breadth, and success of mentoring programs within Chicago and is excited about the success of its first conference "Building Community and Nurturing Resilience: Essential tools for creating and sustaining effective mentoring programs for males of color” held on Wednesday, August 28, 2019.


Partners in the mentoring movement have the opportunity to be spotlighted for how they are making a change through mentoring in:

  • National Mentoring Month press and marketing

  • Logo inclusion on MENTOR Illinois website and materials

  • Social media promotion

  • Spotlight storytelling

  • Mentoring field guides and expert research

  • Annual Impact Awards Breakfast


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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.



If you would like to support or get involved in one of these initiatives to strengthen the mentoring movement:


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