Links to Chicago-Area Programs

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MaineStay Youth & Family Services - Mentoring
From the web site: " MaineStay offers an on-site evening mentoring program in partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters. Participation is open to students in grades 4-8 who live or attend school in Maine Township and limited to 20 matched pairs of the same gender. Meetings are held on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month from 6-7:30 PM at the Maine Township Town Hall. There is no cost for youth to participate."

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"I Have a Dream" - North Chicago
From the web site: “I Have A Dream” empowers children to achieve higher education and fulfill their leadership potential by providing them with guaranteed tuition support and equipping them with the skills, knowledge, and habits they need to gain entry to higher education and succeed in college and beyond. By helping our Dreamers gain access to college, we are putting our Dreamers on a different academic and life trajectory, while having a broader impact on the students’ families and generations that follow." The link to the National "I Have a Dream" Foundation is

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Big Brothers, Big Sisters in Lake County
Big Brothers, Big Sisters is the most widely recognized name in mentoring. Activities in Lake County are coordinated by the BBBS Metropolitan Chicago office, which is in downtown Chicago. Browse the site to learn how you can become a mentor or enroll a youth.

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Big Pals Mentoring Program - Allendale Association
From the web site: "Big PALs, our volunteer mentoring program, provides children with the opportunity to develop a real, trusting, positive, one-on-one relationship with an adult. Adult volunteers take time out of their lives to develop these relationships. They make a commitment to be consistent and dependable—to maintain a steady presence in the child’s life. They listen to what the child has to say, and they pay attention to what he or she thinks is important."

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Bridge Youth & Family Services Mentoring Program
From the web site: "The Bridge Youth Advocacy Program is a mentoring program for children between 7 and 15 years old. Mentoring is a proven method of promoting social skill development and healthy decision-making by teaching through example. Mentors help at-risk youth develop a more positive outlook on their futures, improve academically, and get along better with their peers and family members."

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College Bound Opportunities - Mentoring Program
From the web site: "Mentoring is the key component of the CBO program and begins immediately after the student’s acceptance into CBO. Spanning the full six years of the CBO program, the one-to-one mentor relationships provide the necessary guidance for the scholars to make the right decisions in their academic and personal lives. They inspire our scholars, help them dream big, set realistic goals, provide feedback and authority, encourage accountability and celebrate successes with them. Because most of the students in the CBO program are the first in their families to go to college, a mentoring relationship can provide the motivation and care a student needs in that moment and over time."

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Evanston Scholars
From the web site: "Evanston Scholars is a non-profit organization that improves college access and success for a diverse group of ambitious Evanston students who are traditionally first-generation college entrants, low-income, and students of color, starting with the college admissions process and continuing through graduation. The comprehensive, six-year program offers workshops, mentors, ACT prep, and college counseling to support students with financial and/or academic needs."

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Omni Youth Services - Girls After School Program (GAP)
From the web site: "This program serves girls 14 to 18 years old and not only provides a safe haven after school hours but also teaches the girls skills such as perseverance, hard work, leadership, and being a successful team player. Another goal is to promote positive self-image for these young women in addition to learning various career development skills.
Visit the web site to learn of other youth serving programs offered by Omni Youth Services."

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Reading Power, Inc
From the web site: "Reading Power helps students in North Chicago and Zion, Illinois become successful and independent readers and writers through one-to-one literacy tutoring for elementary children."

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The Schuler Scholar Program - College Connections Mentoring
From the web site: "The Schuler Scholar Program equips bright, motivated youth with the support they need to gain access to and succeed at highly selective colleges and beyond. Schuler Scholars are typically first-generation college-bound, are students of color, or come from low-income families.

The College Connections Program offers an opportunity for volunteers to provide mentoring and support for Schuler Scholars during their first year in college and beyond."

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Youth Opportunity Unlimited - Y.O.U. Evanston
From the web site: "Y.O.U. closes the opportunity gap by preparing youth for post-secondary and life success.

We partner with families, schools, and the community to provide academic, social, and emotional supports to 1,600 youth and their families each year, ensuring every young person has the opportunity to succeed. All of Y.O.U.'s services are relationship-based and free for youth and families."

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