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More Than 20 Children Need Mentors in Lake County
Wednesday, January 22, 2014 by Communications

January is National Mentoring Month; join the movement to inspire Waukegan youth with Catholic Charities new Lake County Mentoring Program

Waukegan, IL –January is National Mentoring Month and Catholic Charities Lake County Youth Mentorship Program has made impact on a dozen children but more mentors are needed! The program is currently recruiting mentors to work with youth ages 9 to12 who live in Waukegan or attend Waukegan Public School. Individuals who can serve as positive role models, encourage good decision-making and be a friend during times of need are strongly urged to apply.  

Mentors are encouraged to seek out low-cost activities to do with their mentee such as, playing basketball, working on school projects together, exploring a new ethnic restaurant in the area, grabbing a cup of hot chocolate or taking advantage of free activities in the community that may interest a young person. A Catholic Charities Mentor Program coordinator is there every step of the way to offer guidance and training, suggest age appropriate activities, and help mentors develop a strong relationship with their mentee. Participants also have the opportunity to attend quarterly special events that bring all mentors and mentees together to engage in fun activities, share ideas, and build supportive relationships.

“The joy in seeing your mentee grow, and the surprise improvement in yourself that occurs from the interaction has carried over into my own home as I've become a more present father and a more communicative husband,” said mentor Jesse Batha.
 
“We know that mentoring works. Kids who have a mentor are more likely to do well in school, avoid harmful behaviors, and have positive attitudes towards their peers and their parents,” said Sarah Loffman, Catholic Charities Special Projects Coordinator. “It’s also a powerful experience for our adult volunteers, who consistently report that they get just as much out of the program as the mentee.  We are so thankful to the dozens of volunteers who have already stepped up and made a difference in the life of a Waukegan child. With more than 20 children currently looking for mentors – and more children wanting to participate in the program - we are actively recruiting positive adult role models.”  

To become a mentor following qualifications must be met:

  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Commit to a minimum of a one year relationship, meeting two hours per week
  • Complete a volunteer application, orientation process and mentor trainings
  • Own a car and have a valid Illinois driver’s license and proof of insurance (no car sharing programs allowed)
  • Must have 3 years of experience driving with a valid driver’s license
  • Be willing to drive up to 30 minutes to pick up your mentee, and drive mentee to and from all outings
  • Allow the agency to conduct a thorough Criminal Background and Driving Motor Vehicle Check
  • Be able to participate in regular meetings/phone contacts with a Catholic Charities staff person
  • Bilingual candidates are strongly encouraged to apply

To make a difference and become a mentor contact Sarah Loffman at (312) 655-7081 or sloffman@catholiccharities.net or Laurel Wimpffen at (847) 782-4126 or lwimpffen@catholiccharities.net
                                                                                                                                
For more information about Catholic Charities Mentor Program and other Catholic Charities programs visit www.catholiccharities.net.

About Catholic Charities

Helping people in need for more than 96 years, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago is one of  the largest private, not-for-profit social service agencies in the Midwest, annually assisting more than one million persons in Cook and Lake counties without regard to religious, ethnic or economic background.  Catholic Charities fulfills the Church’s role in the mission of charity by providing compassionate, competent, professional services that strengthen and support individuals, families and communities.

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Contact: Christine Natarelli
Phone: 312-655-7010
E-mail: Cnatarelli@catholiccharities.net

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