"Building Relationships,
  Changing Lives"

Welcome to CU 1-to-1, Champaign/Urbana's school based mentoring program!  Our mission is to positively impact the lives of Champaign-Urbana students by pairing them with adult mentors to provide support, encouragement, and guidance.  Here you will find information about our program, events, how we are effecting positive change in the lives of our communities' children and how YOU can become a mentor and join the ranks of our amazing mentoring community! (Click the mentor button to the right.)




Thinking of becoming a mentor?
See what a current mentor has to say or listen to a few of our 2021 mentee graduates as they talk about their mentor relationship.
 (Click on WCIA or banquet video)

       Welcome Spring!

Banquets are Back
We will be holding in person year end banquets
once again this year.  An invitation will be mailed to 

you (between March 24 - April 1)  with a permission
slip for you mentee to fill out and return to you if
you plan to attend.   Mentees must attend with a
mentor, so if you are unable to attend, explain this
to your mentee.   


6th and 7th grade banquet - Wednesday, April 27, 6:00 - 7:30
Urbana High School Cafeteria, 1002 S. Race, Urbana, IL
RSVP due April 19 - Urbana mentors to Karen Decker, kdecker@usd116.org
                                 Champaign mentors to Lauren Smith, smithla@u4sd.org

8th - 12 grade Scholarship Banquet - Wednesday, May 4, 6:00 - 7:30
Hilton Garden Inn, 1501 S. Neil, Champaign, IL
RSVP due April 27 - Urbana mentors to Karen Decker, kdecker@usd116.org
                                 Champaign mentors to Lauren Smith, smithla@u4sd.org


Elementary Pizza Party - Tuesday, May 10, 5:30 - 7:00
Stone Creek Church, 2502 S. Race, Urbana, IL
RSVP due May 3 - Urbana mentors to Karen Decker, kdecker@usd116.org
                               Champaign mentors to Lauren Smith, smithla@u4sd.org


Flash Training
Acknowledging, Confronting and Interrupting Racism - 
Perspectives from a white person on the journey to become Anti-Racist (Part II in a 5 part series)

Tuesday, April 5, 5:15 - 5:45 via Zoom
RSVP to Lauren Smith (smithla@u4sd.org) to receive the Zoom link


Flash trainings are short (30 minute) trainings filled with 
information.   These are geared for those with limited time who 
want a short training.   At 5:45 the training will end.   If you are 
interested in discussing issues brought up in the training, you can
stay for discussion beginning at 5:45.



Racial Equity Discussion Group
This group of mentors continues to meet over the lunch hour about every six weeks.   If you would like an invite to this discussion group, please email Gina Sterling, sterligi@u4sd.org  You are welcome to join the discussion at any time.

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April 2022 

Each month we will be highlighting a mentor in the Champaign/Urbana school district.  These are the faces of community members who are giving an hour of their time per week to meet, have fun, and make a positive impact on the lives of our children.  We are so grateful for each of them and all they do---join the ranks of some awesome people who dare to "be the change". 

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." -Ghandi

Name: Theo Long

Mentor at: Urbana Middle School

Grade of Mentee: 6

Why is he mentor of the month?
Theo's elementary coordinator nominated him  because "he is very engaged when interacting with his mentee.  He takes the time to listen and asks his mentee thought provoking questions.  Theo also shows a genuine interest in his mentee, his interests, and his family. Theo never misses a visit and schedules work meetings around his weekly mentor sessions."

How long have you been mentoring?  3.0 years 

What inspired you to mentor? 
A really good friend of mine told me about the program a few years ago.  Even though I wasn't ready at the time, he kept telling me about his experience as a mentor and how he was building a bond with his mentee.  Hearing his personal story really inspired me to look into the program and I'm grateful that he kept encouraging me to do so. 

What is your favorite aspect of mentoring?
My mentee likes to play games during our sessions and seeing his smile makes my day.  He is growing more and more confident with each session and it's an incredible thing to witness.

Why do you think others should mentor? 

It's hard for me to not have a somewhat  selfish answer to this question.  While ultimately I think others should mentor in order to help young students/people grow up- with someone nearby who can be a solid source of advice (or just another reliable friend), I can't help but think about what I get out of the relationship that I have with my mentee.   Sometimes I feel like I need the sessions more than he might, because they ground me, they help me focus, and they enable me to grow.  Being a part of this program is a wonderful experience and it's amazing how it benefits the mentor and the mentee.   

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Make a Difference 
   Donate to the Scholarhsip Fund

Why not consider donating money to the Mentoring Scholarship Foundation in honor or memory of someone?  Watch the video to the left to see what a difference it can make to mentees attending college.  Contact Lauren Smith smithla@u4sd.org for more information.

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