CU One-to-One Mentoring Program celebrates National Mentoring Month throughout January

Thu, 01/09/2020 - 3:06pm

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – The C-U One-to-One Mentoring Program will celebrate National Mentoring Month throughout January. Over 600 community-based adults in the Champaign-Urbana area serve as One to One Mentors. Of that figure, 400 mentors serve Champaign Unit 4 Schools.

At its core, mentoring guarantees young people that someone cares, assures they are not alone in dealing with day-to-day challenges, and makes them feel like they matter. Research confirms that quality-mentoring relationships have powerful positive effects on students in several personal, academic, and professional situations. At-risk youth with a mentor are:

• 46% less likely than their peers to start using drugs
• 52% less likely than their peers to skip a day of school
• 55% more likely to be enrolled in college
• 81% more likely to participate in sports or extracurricular activities
• 78% more likely to volunteer regularly in their communities
• 130% more likely to hold leadership positions

On Jan. 14, the University of Illinois’ Facilities & Services (F&S) will celebrate 15 years of mentoring. Over the past two decades, F&S served as a proud supporter and partner of the CU One to One Mentoring program.  Over 90 F & S employees have mentored, some for more than 10 years, and combined to contribute over 10,000 hours of mentoring. Maureen Banks, Director, Division of Safety and Compliance for F & S spearheaded the program all 15 years.

Two weeks later on Jan. 28, approximately 125 mentors from Champaign-Urbana will meet to celebrate National Mentor Month and discuss the meaning of mentoring at a Mentor Breakfast in Urbana.

The month-long celebration also includes a “Thank You Mentor Day” on Jan. 30 when mentor benefit cards are good for discounts. Mentors visiting participating area businesses are eligible for prize giveaways on Jan. 31. Many local business owners have sponsored the event for more than 10 years.

Community members interested in becoming a mentor can attend a training date Wednesday, Jan. 30 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Urbana Middle School or Wednesday, Feb. 12 at the Unit 4 Center for Family and Community Engagement (Mellon Building, 703 S. New Street, Champaign)