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Chicago Scholars May Mentor of the Month

Korbin Houstin, Mentor since 2023

Korbin Houstin, May Mentor of the Month

As of today, there’s just one more day to apply to become a Chicago Scholars Mentor! Be sure to get your application in before it closes on the 3rd.

In celebration, we’re introducing you to our final Mentor of the month! Over the past several months, we’ve introduced you to some of our current incredible mentors, given you a special look at what called them to take on this responsibility, and shared stories of connection with their Scholar cohorts – and maybe inspired you to become a mentor too!

Our May Mentor of the Month is Korbin Houstin, who started her journey with Chicago Scholars as a Scholar from the class of 2018. After her college graduation and several big moves in her professional career, she returned to bring her experience and compassion to a new class of Scholars, this time as a mentor.

“I wished that I felt comfortable being a mentor sooner, but I came to it in my own time. Despite going through the Chicago Scholars program myself, when I first graduated from college I was still trying to find my footing. At the time, I didn’t feel that I had much to offer as a mentor – but I wish I would have seen that just by showing up and being a reliable adult to lean on for advice, I was already bringing everything a mentor needs to the table.”

“However, I did join the Chicago Scholars Alumni Board along with volunteering at events with scholars. It was at one event in particular when I was helping a Scholar that it really occurred to me. Despite being fairly early in my career, and without having a wide professional network to offer, I was still an alumni who really knew the program and could guide scholars though it when they ran in to issues.”

During her first year as a mentor for Chicago Scholars, Korbin has been able to build relationships with the Scholars in her cohort, guiding them into their first year of college and beyond. As she continues her mentoring experience, she’s seen how impactful being a resource for Scholars can be, and hopes other people are encouraged to sign up.

“I encourage anyone who’s interested in helping youth to be a mentor. By signing up, you’re directly helping college bound youth from disadvantaged backgrounds, just by being a stable and encouraging presence. Relationships between scholars and mentors vary, but at the very least you can be a resource to a scholar who may not have many other places to turn.”

Inspired by Korbin’s story? Head here to learn more about applying to be a mentor! The mentor application is open to support our new incoming class of Chicago Scholars – head here to check out the application and apply before the deadline on May 3rd!