C-U One-to-One is a school based mentoring program which began at Urbana Middle School in the fall of 1994. It is a relationship building program designed to build student's self-confidence and encourage them to stay in school and graduate. For additional information visit the C-U One-to-One website.

What are the parameters of the program?

  • It is relationship building, not tutoring.
  • It takes place on the school grounds during the school day.
  • The time commitment is one hour per week.
  • It is a long range program. Mentors commit for one school year and are encouraged to re-commit at the end of that year for the following school year.

What do mentors do?

Mentors meet with their "mentees" for one hour a week during the school day on school grounds. Since this is a relationship building program, mentors may use their time with their students to read together, play games, work out in the gym, walk outside and talk, discuss current events, set personal goals or work together on classroom assignments.

How do students benefit?

  • Receiving the support and guidance of a caring adult
  • Experiencing greater self-confidence and motivation to succeed
  • Receiving encouragement to stay in school and graduate
  • Receiving encouragement to avoid the use of drugs and alcohol
  • Improving interpersonal relationships with peers, teachers and family
  • Receiving assistance in choosing a career path
  • Seeing a connection between school and the community

What do students say about their mentors?

"She's given me hope…"

"She understands me…I can talk to her about anything."

"I try not to be absent on the day he comes."

"He's perfect!"

"She's helped me see that what I do in school will affect my life."

Who can be a mentor?

You can be a mentor if you have:

  • A genuine interest in youth
  • Flexibility
  • Good listening skills
  • Commitment - at least one hour per week between 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., continuing for at least one year with the potential of staying with the student through high school graduation. For this reason we do not accept University students as mentors.
  • Excellent employment record
  • No criminal record

How do I become a mentor?

  1. Complete a mentor application form (pdf). You can download it from this page or request a copy from Thomas Howley at (217) 337-0853. This form includes personal references and an agreement for a criminal background check. Return completed form to Thomas Howley at Urbana Middle School.
  2. If applicable, talk with your employer about arranging to have an hour each week to mentor.*
  3. Participate in an interview/screening session.
  4. Attend an initial training session and agree to attend regular training sessions throughout the year.
  5. Agree to come to your mentoring sessions consistently and to stay with the mentoring relationship for at least one year.

* Many Champaign-Urbana employers are providing one-hour release time each week for the employees who wish to be mentors. These employers include: University of Illinois; City of Urbana; Urbana Park District; Urbana District #116; National City Bank; Brown, Hobbs & McMurry; Human Kinetics; News Gazette; Norrell Services and others.