Our mentorship program is powered by selfless college students who are passionate about making a positive impact. By aiding at-risk youth in academic, social and emotional growth, we aim to foster a meaningful mentor to mentee relationship that extends past the classroom.

How it Works


Based on the academic and social needs of the students as well as their extracurricular interests, we pair them with a mentor that can best provide them with the guidance they need


Once a week, mentors meet with their mentee to check in on their academic and social progress, for homework help, and to take part in planned activities and events


Through continued feedback from mentors, mentees and school administrators, we’ve consistently made changes to improve SL for all those involved. Many of the junior high students who were once a part of SL continue to come back to our volunteer events.

Partnered Schools

Sprouting Leaders is proud to partner with the following schools and welcomes all students enrolled at these schools to join our programs.



Chapter Contact:
Mennat Gharib, President of UIC Chapter

Grade Schools

Daniel J Corkery Elementary School
2510 S Kildare Ave
Chicago, IL 60623

John Spry Community School
2400 S Marshall Blvd
Chicago, IL 60623

Our Model

Before becoming mentors, prospective Sprouting Leaders undergo a preliminary, hands on training to get a feeling of what mentoring is like as well as to familiarize them with SL’s expectations. Equipped with a Mentor Reference Packet put together with the help of former mentors and board members, new mentors are given a wide array of ice breakers, conversation starters, and activities to facilitate mentor to mentee interaction. Although given some structure with the packet, we like to give our mentors the flexibility to assess what their student needs to focus on in any given day.

Frequently Asked Questions

Check with your college/university advisor first. Chances are, you will be able to receive internship credit for volunteering. Yay college credits!

Expect to be a great mentor for students in 7th, and 8th grade!

  • Help them set goals
  • Help them with homework
  • Acts as a resource to teach the them professional skills
  • Encourage them to attend college

The list above gives you a good idea of the types of things a mentor can do, but what happens in a mentoring relationship ultimately depends on how well a mentor and mentee interact with each other.

Our current program is operated through the collegiate chapters located at University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Students at any grade level at UIC can become mentors.  Mentors typically visit the school on a weekly basis three days out of the week to help with after school activities. The time and day are flexible and we will work with you to determine the best fit.

We are currently at two elementary schools Daniel J. Corkery Elementary and John Spry Community School. Based on the amount of mentors and mentees, you will be assigned a school/student. If you would like to mentor at a specific school, you can request it.

Becoming a mentor is not an easy task but is very rewarding. We have all seen the need for role models who can give underprivileged youth the opportunity to see beyond their circumstances. Many of the students we work with have hardships that necessitate the need for a “buddy” who will show them the right path when so many of their peers have gone the wrong way.  As a mentor, you can be the “push” that they need; you can establish a trusting relationship that can lead to a positive impact on the future successes of the student.

Yes! You can use Lyft/Uber, and we will reimburse you for the costs. Or, you can drive to the school and be reimbursed a preset gas stipend.

Our program is sustained throughout a college semester at the minimum. However, we prefer mentors stay a part of Sprouting Leaders for the entire school year in order to build a more meaningful mentor to mentee relationship. Mentors commit to Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday (whatever best fits their schedule) from 2:50-5pm for the mentoring program, taking transportation into account. Actual mentoring takes place from 3:30pm-4:30pm.