Event to connect mentors, invite new members

By Jonie Seo

The first-ever Mentor Appreciation Event will be held Saturday at the Illini Union Rec Room from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. The free event, co-sponsored by The Illini Mentor Program and the Illini Community connection, is open to mentors and anyone interested in becoming a mentor.

“Saturday will be a good chance for mentors to get to know one another and explain mentoring to those interested in finding out more,” said Erica Chang, fundraising co-chair of the mentor program and sophomore in LAS.

There will be free bowling, shoe rentals, billiards and food. Those wishing to attend must RSVP via email to: [email protected] by Wednesday Nov. 9.

The Illini Mentor Program hopes to recruit new mentors and continue to grow. Since its founding last spring, the program has grown in size from 60 mentors to about 120 this semester, Chang said.

Christeen Lee, programming board co-chair and sophomore in Education, explained that students sign up to be mentors and go through an orientation process at the beginning of the year before being paired with a mentee. Mentors spend two hours a week with their mentees at the Don Moyer Boys and Girls Club of Champaign, 201 E. Park St.

“We help them with their homework, plan activities and sometimes just play with them,” Lee said. “It’s tiring at times but so worth it to be involved in kids’ lives.”

Chang agreed.

“You need to put a lot of effort and time, but it’s definitely worth it,” she said.