Align Peoria seeks mentors for Connecting Champions

Posted by Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat on 2/8/2019 7:00:00 AM

Think of somebody that was instrumental in your life as a child – someone who cared about you, pushed you and looked out for you. They were a mentor, and in all likelihood, you couldn’t imagine where you’d be in life without them.


All children should have a mentor to guide them through those day-to-day challenges and to show them that they matter. But research shows that one in three young people will grow up without this critical asset.


Our students in Peoria Public Schools should all have access to mentors, and Align Peoria has developed a pilot mentoring program called Connecting Champions to supply those mentors.


The numbers are eye-opening. According to, young people who are at risk of falling off track but had a mentor are 55 percent more likely to go to college, 78 percent more likely to volunteer, 90 percent more interested in becoming a mentor themselves and 130 percent more likely to hold leadership positions.


Connecting Champions will provide students with customized support and coaching from mentors in the community. Align Peoria is seeking mentoring candidates to fill the following categories:

  • Team Mentoring – A team of five to six adult mentors meeting with a group of 15 middle school students on a weekly basis at two schools (Von Steuben and Lincoln)
  • One-to-one Mentoring – One-to-one mentoring for 15 adult mentors and fifteen middle school students meeting on a one-to-one basis at two schools
  • Internship Mentoring – One adult mentor supporting up to ten high school students in internship experiences. Mentors will be expected to commit one hour of time per week, develop supportive relationships with students, share life experiences, teach essential (soft/employability) skills, and encourage/reinforce academic, social/emotional, and career goals and successes. Mentors will receive training and ongoing support.

For those interested, you will need to complete a mentor application by Friday, February 15 and turn it in to the Office of Innovation at the Peoria Public Schools administration building. Once accepted into the program, the mentor will attend training, participate in weekly mentor sessions at school with the assigned mentee or group and use the curriculum learned in training sessions.


For more information or to receive an application, contact Dr. Susan Grzanich at


Change the life of a child and be a champion to a future champion.

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