Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago Celebrates National Mentoring Month
January is National Mentoring Month. By giving a little time, mentors help youth reach their full potential and develop into productive, caring, responsible citizens. Over the last 9 years, Boys & Girls of Chicago (BGCC) and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago (BBBSMC) have partnered to provide life-changing, high-impact, one-on-one mentoring to Chicago’s youth.
The after-school hours are the most threatening time for young people, especially those who come from some of Chicago’s most challenged neighborhoods. Regardless of a young person’s community or circumstances, BGCC and BBBSMC work to address the many issues that children face. We share a unified belief that children who have positive role models are more likely to improve in school, in their relationships with family and friends, increase their self-esteem and are more likely to live an active and healthy lifestyle. Our caring adult role models help youth set and achieve goals by providing them with a safe place to learn and grow. These mentors give youth the tools and guidance to help them become successful.
Each year, this partnership pairs 150 meaningful mentor-mentee relationships between adult volunteers "Bigs" and youth "Littles", ages 6-18, in site-based mentoring programs across the City of Chicago. This year, the BBBSMC program took place at four Boys & Girls Club of Chicago locations. Three additional clubs received mentoring from corporations including PepsiCo, Enova International and PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP. Over the course of the school year, the mentor-mentee pairs meet on a weekly basis to work on homework, participate in group activities, play games and most importantly develop a strong mentor-mentee relationship built on respect and trust.
Mentoring is FUN
"My mentor is so cool. I love spending time with her. I like that we have a lot in common, and she’s into really girly things like me."
"My mentor always wants to have fun with me and listens to me whenever I need someone to talk to."
-Logan Square Mentee
Mentoring Builds Relationships
"I feel comfortable with my mentor, I know I can trust her."
-Little Village Mentee
"My mentor really knows me and understands where I come from."
-King Club Mentee
"The relationship I have with my Little is one I will always cherish. It has been amazing watching her grow into the young woman she is today. "
"I have seen a lot of positive developments in my Little. It is exciting to see all the changes and be a part of that."
-Logan Square Mentor
Each one of us—individuals, businesses, schools, faith communities and nonprofits—can work together to increase the number of mentors to help ensure each young person has a mentor and positive role model in their life.
If you would like to join Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago or Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago in our respective missions as a mentor or volunteer to Chicago’s youth follow the links above to our websites.