Events & Activities

Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) there will be no mentoring until Fall  2020.

May 6 was the night of our Scholarship Banquet to honor our seniors.  Unfortunately we were unable to hold the banquet this year, but we wanted to let you know about our award winners. Three seniors are chosen to receive special awards each year.  The GRIT award recognizes a senior who has overcome hardship or disadvantage to succeed and has persisted in spite of obstacles and has not given up.   The JFG Award recognizes and Urbana High School graduate who has shown the ability to rise above expectations and is dependable and can be counted on to help.  The VISION award recognizes a student who has articulated a clear goal for their future and taken steps toward that goal.   The 2020 awards go to -


GRIT Award - Dayanna James, Centennial High School, nominated by her mentor, Julia Schmidt

                                                                              Dayanna began in the mentoring program when                                                                                    she was a 3rd grader at Robeson.  After two                                                                                          years, her first mentor moved away and she                                                                                          was rematched with a new mentor, who also                                                                                        moved away.  When Dayanna started 6th grade,                                                                                  she was matched with Julia Schmidt.  In  her                                                                                        nomination, Julia said, "I really admire Dayanna's                                                                                  stamina and persistence in the face of many                                                                                          life situations which could easily make a                                                                                                young person develop a bad attitude or just  give                                                                                  up.  She learned to walk away from bullies and                                                                                      became much more aware which associations were positives and which were bound to lead to trouble. She continues to make good decisions at work, school, and in her relationships in spite of bullying, loss of family and friends to gun violence, challenging family responsibilities, and changing living arrangements.  TRUE GRIT!

JFG Award - Christian Bautista, Urbana High School, nominated by his mentor, DJ Morton

Christian and his mentor DJ Morton began meeting
when Christian was an 8th grader at Urbana
Middle School. DJ says, "Christian has always 
been willing to take advantage of opportunities
that help him grow.  As a member of the National 
Kappa Instructional and Development League he
focused on college preparation, personal develop-
ment and academic achievement and then went 
on to coach others younger than himself.  He 
pushed himself to graduate early from high school
while maintaining a part time job and assisting
family members at home. Christian's hard work
and character exhibit a commitment to becoming
an upstanding future leader in his community."


VISION Award - Ashanti Thomas, Urbana High School, nominated by her mentor, Julia Shirley

                                                                        Ashanti began meeting with her mentor, Julia,                                                                                     when she was a third grader at Prairie                                                                                                   Elementary.  In Julia's nomination she wrote,                                                                                         "Over the last few years Ashanti has shown a                                                                                        solid determination to become a photojournalist.                                                                                    In addition to taking several photo arts classes in                                                                                  high school, she became a member of the                                                                                            yearbook staff, taking photos and writing copy
                                                                        for the yearbook.  Using money she saved from
                                                                        working a summer job for two years she                                                                                                purchased a camera, a real camera, a Canon                SL2 digital camera that she could use in her casses and at college.  That choice speaks volumes about how serious she is about her chosen path.  Ashanti will be in the Communications program at Eastern Illinois University this fall."

CONGRATULATIONS to all of our Award Winners and all  of our nominees!  

And the Award Winners are...

Banquet News


How are mentors staying in touch during COVID-19?
The News Gazette decided to find out.  Click on the button to see the link to the story about mentoring during COVID-19 featured in  the paper on Sunday, May 3rd.

CU One to One Mentoring celebrates 15 year partnership with U of I  Facilities & Services
The News Gazette, 1/24/20 

Prairie State Bank & Trust awards grant to CU One to One

Bruce Hatfield, Regional President of Prairie State Bank and Trust, Colleen Phil, Vice President and Commercial Loan officer present check to Lauren Smith, Community Outreach Coordinator - Unit 4 Schools

On June 24, representatives from Prairie State Bank awarded a $1,000 grant to the CU One to One Scholarship Foundation.   The grant is from Prairie State Bank & Trust in partnership with the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago.

U of I Athletics donates to One to One Scholarship Foundation

Lauren Smith, Unit 4 Schools, Susan Young, CFO - U of I Athletics, Patricia Grove, U of I Athletics

Several of the U of I  Athletics Department staff are One to One mentors, so they collected money to donate to the CU One to One Scholarship Foundation in honor of their CFO, Susan Young.   $561.00 was collected by Patricia Grove and donated to the Scholarship Foundation!

Know someone who would be a great mentor?   Encourage them to sign  up for one of our Fall 2020 mentor trainings by contacting Lauren Smith ( to mentor in the Champaign  Schools or Tom Howley ( to mentor in the Urbana Schools.


Fall 2020 New Mentor Training Dates

Tuesday, September 22, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. at Urbana Middle School

Thursday, October 8, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. at the Champaign Mellon Building (703 S. New, C)

Wednesday, October 14, 11:30 - 1:30 at the Champaign Mellon Building (703 S. New, C)

May 2020

Graduating Centennial Seniors - Class of 2020

Graduating seniors and their mentors look back on their years together, the impact mentoring has had, and why the CU 1-to-1 Mentor Program was so important to them.

Loir Ellinger, Tom Howley and Mayor Diane Marlin

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