Chicago Scholars Mentoring Program

The Chicago Scholars Mentoring Program pairs our Scholars with adult Mentors from across the Chicagoland area for two years. Mentors serve as important guides and offer advice to our first-generation and under-resourced youth as they tackle the college admissions process during their senior year of high school, their transition to college, and ultimately throughout their first year of college.

The Mentor application for the 19-20 academic year has closed.

What it takes to be a mentor:


Hold a Bachelor's Degree

Commit to mentoring for two years


Meet cohort monthly


Attend mentor orientation & training sessions


Abide by the Chicago Scholars Code of Ethics


How will I succeed as a Mentor?

To provide our Scholars with Mentors equipped with the tools and resources necessary to support and guide them, we offer the following:

Staff Support

Chicago Scholars is a family, and we all work together to support our Scholars. Mentors are introduced to staff and interact with them often. Our office space serves as a hub for all communication, events and workshops: there is always an ear to listen and someone to lend support and advice.


Chicago Scholars utilizes a research-based curriculum that assists Scholars during this huge transition in their lives. Our curriculum highlights best practices for Mentors in the framework of our program model. Each Mentor receives a copy at our Mentor Orientation.

Enrichment Sessions

Our program offers periodical enrichment sessions to offer Mentors peer support and supplemental training. These informal sessions allow for our Mentors to continually improve and support our Scholars in the areas they need it most.


Chicago Scholars uses technology to enhance our program and your impact as a Mentor. Our online tool, CS Connect, allows for Mentors, CS College Counselors, and staff to connect, communicate, and track student progress. CS Connect allows for a seamless transfer of information between all members of our Scholar’s College Success Team.


Meet a Mentor


Faith Ann-Chen

Mentor for 2 years

Loyola University Chicago

“I was the first in my family to attend college, so this work is much more personal for me. I often see myself in the Scholars, and understand the struggles that they are experiencing and challenges that they may have in trying to achieve this awesome goal of attending college. This is why I am a Chicago Scholars mentor."


Emanuel Johnson

Mentor for 1 year

George Washington University

“If it wasn't for the mentors in my life, I am not sure where I would be. Being a mentor for Chicago Scholars allows me an opportunity to truly be there for Scholars when they need the most help. Applying to colleges is an extremely daunting task, and having a mentor can be very beneficial. What I like most is that I am able to be with these Scholars their senior year of high school and also their first year of college.”


Madra Guinn-Jones

Mentor for 1 year

Emory University

“One of the main benefits of mentoring with Chicago Scholars are the relationships that are built. As a mentor, I am pouring into the lives of my Scholars, and working along side many other amazing mentors that are a part of my cohort. As my Scholars learn and begin to grow, I also see myself do the same. I gain so much from the Scholars, more than they even know.”


Susan Zimmerman

Mentor for 6 years

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

“I love the fact that you have the opportunity to work with other individuals on a mentor team. There are often two or three other mentors that you work with and are able to share ideas, provide diverse perspectives for Scholars, and you can work together as a team to provide what the Scholars need. I have personally learned a lot from my co mentors. We have figured out that we have different strengths and skills so we balance each other very well.”


Become a Mentor


The Mentor application for the 19-20 academic year has closed. We’ll reopen the application in late 2019 for the 20-21 academic year.


Nominate a Mentor

Mentoring is the cornerstone of our program, and without you we can’t make the impact our city needs. Every Mentor you help us to recruit enhances our impact and allows us to serve more Scholars. Nominate a friend, family member, or colleague to join the team as a Chicago Scholars Mentor.