A mentoring program for busy professionals!

A partnership between Big Brothers Big Sisters and iMentor that brings one-to-one college-success mentoring to Joliet Township High School District 204 students.

Facilitates mentoring relationships that ensure more students from low-income communities enroll in college and graduate with a degree. By partnering with high schools and matching every student in a cohort with a mentor

Leverages the community to reimagine how public high schools support students through the college process.

Typically, schools employ a single college counselor who is responsible for supporting all students. With Mentor 2.0, every student in the cohort has a college graduate who works with them each week of their high school career. This provides our students with the level of personalized support necessary to ensure true college-readiness.

• Mentor-mentee pairs build their relationships throughweekly email communication and monthly in-person meetings.

• The curriculum structures each weekly email exchange and monthly in-person meeting. The curriculum creates a baseline of conversations and experiences for all pairs.

• A full-time Big Brothers Big Sisters’ staff member is responsible for the success of each relationship.

• Mentors and mentees use iMentor’s custom technology platform to build their relationship. Staff utilizes the platform to launch, manage, monitor, and evaluate the program.

This exciting, new technology-enriched mentoring program, is designed to:

  1. Impact local high school graduation rates
  2. Build crucial skills linked to college and career success for youth that might not currently have those expectations set for themselves.

Utilizing iMentor’s technology-enhanced mentoring curriculum, Big Brothers Big Sisters is broadening its program offerings to address the critical needs of Joliet Township High School District 204 students, many of whom will be the first in their families to apply to college.

• matches college graduates one-on-one with a Joliet Township High School District 204 student, in order to support and provide the guidance they need to graduate high school and succeed in college and the workforce.

• mentor2.0 maintains the quality one-to-one mentoring Big Brothers Big Sisters is known for and expands this by using technology for much of the interaction between the mentee and mentor. This reduces the mentor’s in-person time commitment to once every month, and utilizes a customized curriculum guide throughout the match interaction.

Requirements to be a Mentor in Mentor 2.0

Be a college graduate

21 Years old and above

Live or work in the greater Joliet area

Be able to volunteer 4 hours a month

(1/2 in-person, 1/2 online)

What You’ll Do

  • Develop

    Develop a supportive mentoring relationship that will last for 3 years.

  • Guide

    Guide your mentee through the mentor2.0 college and career-readiness curriculum and the college application process, using the provided online curriculum.

  • Grow

    Join your peers and meet new people at optional mentors-only social and learning events

How It Works

Students in the Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) Academy and the Health and Medicine Academy at Joliet West High School and Joliet Central High School are matched with college graduate mentors from 10th grade (sophomore year) through the 12th grade (senior year).

Matches email weekly, and meet in person once a month, to develop strong relationships while students build skills necessary for college success. These skills – such as critical thinking, self-advocacy, social capital, intellectual curiosity, and perseverance – empower students to realize their full academic potential and excel in new and challenging environments.

Mentors also help their mentees develop college knowledge – such as how to identify the best college match, apply for financial aid, meet application deadlines, write effective essays, and integrate into college life – which allows them to reach important milestones on the path to college graduation.

At the end of the three-year program, pairs have the option of extending their match through the freshman year of college.  Mentors will help their mentees create advisor and peer support networks, develop effective time management and study skills, reapply for financial aid, and identify summer learning and internship opportunities.

Curriculum & Checklist Goals

The mentor 2.0 curriculum guides mentor-mentee interaction so that matches develop strong personal relationships, nurture a college aspiration, navigate the college application process, and build critical skills that lead to college success. The curriculum is organized by checklist goals that mentors and mentees work to achieve together during each year of the mentor 2.0 program. For each checklist goal, matches engage in approximately four prompted email conversations and participate in one in-person event. Following are highlights of the checklist goals for each academic year:

10th Grade – Sophomore Year

  • Develop strong mentoring relationship
  • Build resilience, self-advocacy and leadership skills
  • Cultivate intellectual curiosity
  • Identify potential careers
  • Make connections between school and work
  • Identify and address academic challenges
  • Introduce college process and expectations

11th Grade – Junior Year

  • Define college preferences
  • Research colleges
  • Develop critical thinking and study skills
  • Standardized test prep
  • Identify and address academic challenges

12th Grade – Senior Year

  • Determine college choices
  • Complete college applications
  • Apply for financial aid
  • Improve financial literacy
  • Develop a college transition plan