Y.O.U. believes that strong, positive relationships are essential to supporting youth growth and development. In addition to fostering healthy relationships with staff and peers in our out-of-school-time programs, we partner with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago (BBBS) to provide youth with opportunities to build 1-on-1 connections with mentors.

Y.O.U. and BBBS carefully match youth and mentors, taking into account a youth’s needs as well as common interests and personality. Once connected, “Bigs” and “Littles” meet every other week at Y.O.U.’s Chute site to develop their relationship through dinners, arts and cultural activities, sports and recreation and educational enrichment.

 These relationships have deep impact on youth— studies show that having a mentor can increase healthy decision-making, emotional and social well-being, and academic performance.

To become a mentor, please contact Carly Tsuda at or (847) 866-1200 ext. 416.

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"My weekly meetings with my mentee tend to be one of the highlights of my week. It's amazing to see how our relationship has grown over the course of eight months. We started with limited conversations and have reached a point where both of our faces light up when we see each other, and we now fill our time chatting about our favorite foods, TV shows and family. I can't even begin to express in words the rewarding feeling I get knowing that I'm having a positive impact on such an amazing child's life."

- Jenal, Mentor