Skip to main content

Tag: mentorship opportunities

Announcing the 2024 CS Ways Core Values Mentor Award Recipients

Chicago Scholars is proud to recognize four of our mentors as the winners of our annual CS Ways Core Values Awards

The CS Ways Core Values Awards are awarded by nomination from the entire Chicago Scholars community, including staff, Scholars, and mentors. Winners represent one of the Chicago Scholars Ways Core Values: We Show Up, We Keep Our Word, We Dream Big, We Care For Each Other, and We Model The Way. 

Continue reading

Announcing the 2024 Mentor of the Year and CS Ways Core Values Award Recipients

Chicago Scholars is proud to recognize six mentors as the winners of our annual mentorship awards, Mentor of the Year and The CS Ways Core Values Awards.

Each year, the Mentor of the Year is selected through nominations from high school and first-year college Scholars.   

Mayra Miranda is the Year 2 Mentor of the Year and a Chicago Scholars Alumna (Class of 2013). She said she is grateful to be named Mentor of the Year because it’s proof that her mentees know she is there to support and celebrate them. 

“As I reflect on the numerous ways that mentors have impacted my life, being nominated by my Scholars for this award is an honor,” Mayra said. “As a CS Alum, giving back to the organization that was instrumental during my college experience and receiving this award is a full circle moment. I am so proud to be part of the Chicago Scholars community, a community filled with exceptional leaders that are committed to supporting and uplifting Scholars.” 

For Mayra, the best parts of mentoring with Chicago Scholars are the conversations with her mentees and the ability to collaborate with Chicago Scholars staff. She said the experience has been rewarding.  

The impact of Chicago Scholars is one that I know first-hand. As an alumna of the program, I remember the support I received to help me navigate the college application process. I will never forget my own Onsite experience,” Mayra said. “I encourage anyone that is interested in supporting Scholars to navigate the college application process or is interested in higher education to volunteer. Chicago Scholars is wonderful at providing tools, resources, trust, and support to mentors. Volunteering as a mentor has been a transformational experience.” 


Schafaris Turner is the Year 1 Mentor of the Year and a Chicago Scholars Alumna (Class of 2016).  

“It means so much that my Scholars thought so highly of me to nominate me,” Schafaris said. “Many times, I wonder if I’m doing enough, if I’m being supportive enough, or even available enough. This award serves as recognition of the work I have been doing and validation that I’m giving my all to my Scholars.” 

Schafaris said her favorite part of the year is when her Scholars announce the college they will attend in the fall.  

“It’s beautiful to see all of their hard work and determination finally come to fruition,” she said. 

Each year, her Scholars teach her something new about the world and about herself, Schafaris said. In particular, Scholars have modeled the way for showing up as your authentic self in all contexts, a trait Schafaris said she admires. 

“It warms my heart to know that this organization has not strayed away from their mission after all these years,” Schafaris said. “By getting involved with Chicago Scholars, you’ll have the opportunity to be a resource to the next generation of leaders. You will also have the opportunity to network with other amazing professionals that have chosen to volunteer as well.  


The CS Ways Core Values Awards are awarded by nomination from the entire Chicago Scholars community, including staff, Scholars, and mentors. Winners represent one of the Chicago Scholars Ways Core Values: We Show Up, We Keep Our Word, We Dream Big, We Care For Each Other, and We Model The Way. 


Alleson Knox is a Year 2 mentor and is excited to have two mentees at her alma mater, Howard University. She was recognized for modeling the value “We Show Up.”

“I’m grateful to have supported my mentees in their college application process and transition,” Alleson said. “I realize these relationships will extend far beyond the official terms of mentorship, and I look forward to the many memories and wonderful things they will accomplish in the coming years.” 

Alleson said she encourages potential mentors to jump in and be open to sharing their life experience – especially their mistakes and lessons learned from them.  

Students deserve our unwavering support during such a monumental part of their lives,” she said. “By fostering a culture of mentorship and support, Chicago Scholars not only enhances the college application process for students, but also cultivates a community where aspirations are nurtured and dreams are realized.” 


Andrea Syukur has been a Chicago Scholars Mentor since 2017. She said she was surprised to receive a CS Ways Award for the “We Model the Way” value and is grateful to be recognized by her fellow Mentors.  

For Andrea, the best part of mentoring with Chicago Scholars has been working with college Scholars while “knowing the sweet rewards of the long game.” 

“We meet kids at a point in their lives where they’re about to embark on their biggest journey, and then some fall out of touch due to the rhythm of life,” Andrea said. “Then when you least expect it: a text, a Snapchat message, or a LinkedIn message comes in thanking you for all you’ve done to get them through college and where they’re at now because of the experiences they had at school. No reward is sweeter than hearing about the successes of your past mentees.” 

Andrea encouraged anyone who wants to feel hopeful for the future of Chicago should consider getting involved with Chicago Scholars. 

“Chicago Scholars helps you recognize the immense potential of our Chicago community. Our Scholars represent the best and brightest the city has to offer from all of its diverse neighborhoods,” she said. “This work is for those looking to see what our future looks like for our city.”

Kiley Kio said receiving a CS Ways Award for “We Dream Big” “represents a significant milestone” in her journey as a young professional.  

I am grateful for the concept of the American Dream, the countless mentors that have imparted their words of wisdom, I am also grateful for the many long hours that have carried me to this very moment,” Kiley said. “This award represents a personal milestone as it validates not only this path I have tried to trailblaze, but also the impact I have seemingly had in helping Chicago’s youth achieve similar life checkpoints.” 

 Kiley’s favorite parts of mentoring with Chicago Scholars have been the relationships she’s built with her mentees and co-mentors and the chance to be a more empathetic leader. 

 “I would strongly everyone – at any age or stage of life – to get involved with the revolutionary work brewing at Chicago Scholars,” Kiley said. “Chicago Scholars is an organization where people are seen, heard, and deeply valued.” 


Lovey Marshall is a Year 2 mentor and has been a mentor since 2022. She has been recognized for modelling the value, “We Care for Each Other.”

 “I love showing up and supporting Scholars, but I never thought they were actually paying attention to me,” Lovey said. “ I am honored that they saw me and my contribution to their journey.” 

 The best part of Lovey’s experience as a mentor has been watching her mentees see their dreams come true.  

“Chicago Scholars opens the door wide so Scholars can see the world,” she said. “Sometimes that world is going to a college in California and being able to visit that school. When scholars get into the school they want or a lot of schools and they get the option to chose which one they want, its so fun to see their excitement.” 

Lovey said she has strong relationships with her mentees, even hearing from some that they want to continue checking in with her even after their formal mentor/mentee relationship ends. She said that she would encourage others to become mentors in order to have this kind of lasting impact on a student’s life. 

From my Scholars, I have learned that they desire to impact the world through change and advocacy for the betterment of all,” Lovey said. “Young people who are still in high school and headed into college see the future and how they can impact it….That is amazing.”   


The application for 2024-2026 mentors closes on May 3, 2024. Learn more about the program and submit your application here