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Y.O.U. (Youth Organizations Umbrella), an Evanston-based non-profit youth development agency announces a new initiative, “40 Mentors in 40 Days.”  The campaign is designed to recruit adult mentors for the agency’s Mentor Y.O.U.th program which provides site-based one-on-one mentoring to Evanston youth ages 11-17.  Volunteers are asked to donate one hour per week to participate in arts and cultural, sports and recreational, academic enrichment, and life skills activities with their mentee.  The weekly meeting occurs during Y.O.U.’s out-of-school-time programming offered daily after school and on Saturday morning.

A mentor is a caring adult who offers support and encouragement. He or she is a guide, a listener, a coach, a positive role model, and a friend.  Y.O.U. is seeking caring adults who are willing to make a long-term commitment and have a desire to positively influence the life of a youth.  All mentors are screened, trained, and supervised.  To participate, mentors must pass a reference and background check. 

One of Y.O.U.’s current mentors recently wrote, “My weekly meetings with my mentee tend to be one of the highlights of my week.  It’s amazing to see how our relationship has grown over the course of eight months.  I can’t even begin to express in words the rewarding feeling I get knowing that I’m having a positive impact on such an amazing child’s life.”

You can find more information about Mentor Y.O.U.th and complete an application at www.40mentors40days.org. or contact Santrice Martin, Volunteer Coordinator, at (847) 866-1201, ext. 330 or at santrice.russellmartin@youevanston.org

Youth Organizations Umbrella provides year-round after school and neighborhood-based service programs to assist more than 600 young people and their families annually at six locations in Evanston. The “40 Mentors in 40 Days” initiative pays homage to the agency’s forty years of service to the community which is being celebrated in 2011. For more information about Y.O.U., visit www.youevanston.org.