iMentor Chicago helps kick off mayor’s mentoring challenge

iMentor is one of several national nonprofits participating in a new mentoring initiative launched by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Illinois Mentoring Partnership.

Announced last week, the Mayor’s Mentoring Challenge (MMC) is seeking 1,000 new mentors across the city of Chicago. iMentor joined several high-profile organizations, including Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago, Chicago Lights, and SPARK, in backing the mayor’s plan.

The challenge supports ongoing efforts by iMentor Chicago to recruit an additional 200 mentors by fall 2015 to match all of the students in our Chicago partner schools.

“We, as a city, can only reach our full potential when every child in every neighborhood has an opportunity to reach theirs, and we all have a role to play,” said Mayor Emanuel. “This is why I’m calling on 1,000 new mentors to step up to the plate for our youth, so that together we can make sure that all of our children are afforded the connections and opportunities that that each of us deserves.”

The mayor is encouraging the Chicago business community to join the effort by committing 30 or more employees to mentor. Already, several corporations—including Accenture, JPMorgan Chase, and Comcast/NBCUniversal—have pledged 250 staff members to volunteer. These mentors can serve onsite at their business locations or through an existing program like iMentor.

“iMentor is excited to partner with Mayor Emanuel on his MMC initiative, which will help fill a critical need in our program for students who have a college aspiration but are without the resources or roadmap to get there,” CEO Mike O’Brien said. “We match each of our students with a mentor who can provide the one-on-one support a young person needs to get on the road to college and be successful once there.”

By leveraging the Chicago community, O’Brien continued, volunteer mentors can help change the life trajectory of students who might otherwise fail to reach their full potential.

“An adult who has successfully transitioned from high school to college, from college to career, is already well equipped to be a great mentor,” O’Brien said. “They’ll be working with students on skills like perseverance and self-confidence, in addition to getting them excited about what they’re capable of beyond high school.”

Volunteers can apply to become a mentor with iMentor Chicago by clicking here. Learn more about the mayor’s initiative via the city of Chicago’s volunteer portal, One Good Deed. Also, if you know someone in the Chicago area who would be a great mentor, encourage them to apply!