Illini Mentor Program is a registered student organization of the University of Illinois dedicated to fostering meaningful and consistent mentoring relationships between University students and children in the local community with the goal of supporting learning, growth, skill-building, and interracial and cultural understanding.


“Mentoring brings us together – across generation, class, and often race – in a manner that forces us to acknowledge our interdependence, to appreciate, in Martin Luther King, Jr.’s words, that ‘we are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied to a single garment of destiny.’ In this way, mentoring enables us to participate in the essential but unfinished drama of reinventing community, while reaffirming that there is an important role for each of us in it.” —Marc Freedman

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Uganda Outreach


Students in IMP have expanded the reach of their service while promoting global awareness with the mentees.  As an organization, IMP has committed to sponsoring a child in Kapeeka, Uganda through the nonprofit organization COVE Alliance (Children’s Outreach and Vocational Education). Mentors raised over $400 this year to help Annet Mirembe attend the St. Jerome COVE Center, where she will receive education, food, boarding, and healthcare that is vital to her well-being.  The mentees in IMP learned a bit about culture and daily life for Annet and her classmates in Uganda and wrote pen pal letters to the children at St. Jerome.




5K Run/Walk

Support Illini Mentor Program and community wellness by participating in our 5th annual IMP 5K Run and 1K Fun Walk!


Date: Saturday, October 15, 2016.

Time: Registration/check-in starts at 9:00 a.m.  Race starts at 10:00 a.m.

Location: Anniversary Plaza, south side of Illini Union, Main Quad, University of Illinois

The race route laps the Main and South Quads on the University of Illinois campus.

Click here to register:

Register by September 30 to ensure that you receive a free race t-shirt!

5K Run: Student (all ages, must present valid student ID)= $15

5K Run: Adult = $20

5K Run: 5-person team (all ages) = $70

1K Fun Walk = $15

Free food, fun, and door prizes at the event!

A heartfelt thank you to our community sponsors:



For questions, contact the IMP Race Coordinators:

Varun Bahl ( and Marlisa Wang (

For more information about the race, see the website:



IMP strives for excellence as a learning organization and is committed to best practices in mentoring and community engagement. We have been privileged to receive the following honors and appreciate the support and recognition we’ve received from our community partners.

Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Public EngagementIMP_McKinley

2013-14 Campus Award for Excellence in Public Engagement

2014 McKinley Foundation Social Justice Award

2012 McKinley Foundation Social Justice Award Honorable Mention

2011 Outstanding Service Award (Office of Volunteer Programs)

2008 Robert P. Larsen Human Development Award (Counseling Center)

2008 Outstanding Service Award (Office of Volunteer Programs)

2006 T.I.S Bookstore Outstanding Student Organization Award  

Box Tops & Donations

Box Tops for Education

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IMP participates in the “Box Tops for Education” program to raise funds for one of our community partners, Prairie Elementary School. For more information about Box Tops for Education, including a list of participating products, see

Box Tops may be mailed (or dropped off) at the following address:
Illini Mentor Program (cubicle #20)                           
Illini Union Rm 280, Student Organization Complex
1401 West Green Street, Urbana IL 61801

School Supply Drive

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Donated school supplies will be used to support academic and enrichment programming activities. Donated supplies may be dropped off at the IMP cubicle (#20) in the Registered Student Organizations Office in the Illini Union (room 280).

Some of the supplies needed are listed below:

  • Reading books for grades 3-6
  • Colored pencils
  • Markers
  • Crayons
  • Construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Pencils
  • Pens
  • Plain and ruled paper
  • Notebooks
  • Folders
  • Stickers

For questions about the Box Tops or other donations, please contact Dillon Gozum at


Deadline for 2016-2017 Mentee Applications

We are still taking applications for the 2016-17 school year through 9/–/16. Occasionally, slots for new mentees open up mid-school year, so families are encouraged to contact us to get put on the waiting list once the application deadline has passed. For more information about our program and the application process, contact Teodora Ivanova (

Mentoring Program at Prairie Elementary School 

Tuesdays OR Wednesdays (3:00-4:45 p.m.)

Open to 3rd-5th grade students

Submit applications for the Tues/Wed programs at Prairie Elementary School to Principal Yavonda Smith ( or Nechele Johnson  (

Mentoring Program at Don Moyer Boys & Girls Club 

Saturdays (10:00 am-12:00 p.m.)

Open to 9-12 year old students

Submit applications for the Saturday program at Don Moyer Boys and Girls Club to Charles Burton (

Deadline for 2014-2015 Mentor Applications

We are taking applications for the 2016-17 school year through 8/28/16. If you would like to be considered on the “wait list” in case more positions become available, please contact Teodora Ivanova ( 

Meetings and Committees

Member Development Meetings

Meetings will be held bi-weekly Sundays at 7:00 p.m. [location TBA]

Fall ’16 Meeting Dates: 9/11, 9/25, 10/09, 10/23, 11/06, 11/27, 12/04


Executive Board Meetings

Meetings will be held bi-weekly Sundays at 6:30 p.m. in 212 EH

Fall ’16 Meeting Dates: 8/21, 9/04, 9/18, 10/02, 10/16, 10/30, 11/13, 11/27, 12/04


Fundraising Committee

Meetings will be held weekly on Mondays at 5:00 p.m. [location TBA]

For questions or to get involved, contact the Finance Officer,

Curnisha Kelly  (


Programming Committee

Meetings will be held weekly on Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m. in the RSO Complex in the Illini Union (room 280).

For questions or to get involved, contact the Programming Officers,

Jasmine Hyatt ( and Johanna Kruisbrink (


Communications and Outreach Committee

Meetings will be held weekly on Mondays at 6:00 p.m. [location TBA]

For questions or to get involved, contact the Internal Officer,

Kelly Fahey (

Contact Us

Illini Mentor Program
Illini Union Room 280, Student Organization Complex

1401 West Green Street, Urbana IL 61801


IMP Executive Board (2018-2019)



Jaimin Patel (


Member Development Officer

Alex Wang


Internal Officer/Communications and Outreach Committee 

Aminah Bilal


Finance Officer/Fundraising Committee

Sam Joshi 


Programming Officers/Programming Committee

Talia Farren-Rosen  

Kaci Troth


Tuesday Site Supervisor (Dr. Williams Elementary School)

Taliya Kottai  


Wednesday Site Supervisor (Dr. Williams Elementary School)



Saturday Site Supervisors (Don Moyer Boys & Girls Club)





Faculty Advisor and Co-Founder

Valeri Werpetinski  (

Office Hrs: By appointment; 211 Engineering Hall

Program Overview

Site-based One-on-One Youth Mentoring

Mentors and mentees commit to a full academic year of consistent participation in the program. Mentoring occurs once per week for two hours with a  focus on building positive relationships between the children and young adults and learning from those experiences. The sessions emphasize academic support, reading, and enrichment activities to help children build developmental assets that will help them to be healthy, successful, and responsible citizens. Activities include topics such as the arts, culture and diversity, self-esteem, health and nutrition, organizational and communication skills, and service to the community. 

Program Sites

Don Moyer Boys & Girls Club

Saturday Program (10:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon)
Open to ages 9-12
201 E. Park Street, P.O. Box 1396
Champaign, IL 61824

Phone: (217) 355-5437

Dr. Williams Elementary School

Tuesday and Wednesday Programs (3:00 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.)

Open to 3rd-5th grades

2102 E. Washington St

Urbana, IL 61802

Phone: (217) 384-3628


Ongoing Mentor Training and Service to the Organization

To ensure program quality, IMP membership requires mentors to participate in bi-weekly training and reflection activities as well as 10 hours of service to the organization to support the activities of the programming, fundraising, and communications committees.


Building a Sense of Community and Supporting Our Partners

IMP values strong communication between mentors and the other caring adults in children’s lives,  and social events are organized to help build trust and a sense of community with family members and to celebrate the children’s accomplishments. Members also contribute to the missions of the community partners through fundraising activities and special events, collecting Box Tops for Education, and encouraging University student engagement.