Minds Matter of Chicago is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization with the mission to transform the lives of accomplished high school students from low-income families by broadening their dreams and preparing them for college success. Read more
Minds Matter of Chicago is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization with the mission to transform the lives of accomplished high school students from low-income families by broadening their dreams and preparing them for college success.
Our goal is to provide these high school sophomores, juniors and seniors with perspective on why attending college is important, SAT/ACT test preparation courses, assistance in navigating the financial aid process and support for their decision to make academic achievement a priority. Minds Matter was established in Chicago in April 2006, and in September 2011 will serve more than 45 students, most of whom would be among the first in their families and communities to attend a four-year college.
Minds Matter has been the most rewarding work I do in my spare time. The kids are amazing and inspiring to work with. You cannot help getting really invested with these students and getting to watch them grow from one year to the next and experience new opportunities is really powerful. I also really enjoyed getting connected to a broad professional community of volunteers who really care about educational equity. I've built a really great friend network and met very driven and enthusiastic people in various industries through my involvement.
I’m so glad I joined Minds Matter. It has been an incredible opportunity to make a real difference in a student’s life. This year my mentee was accepted into her top choice summer program at Georgetown University and I’m looking forward to seeing what else she will achieve! The volunteer community as a whole is also rewarding to be a part of. It’s great to be able to meet other dedicated young professionals in Chicago.
Minds Matter has been an amazing volunteer opportunity that has allowed to not only make a difference in the future of Chicago students but also make some good friendships. As a mentor I've had a chance to teach and guide my mentee educational development. We've had workshops ranging from critical reading and resume writing to personal finance and character development. We've used these workshops to help our mentees apply to summer college programs with the intent of helping them gain college experience prior to actually attending full time. Its great motivation to see your mentee accepted and hearing back about how grateful he is for the experience and chance to challenge himself.
Outside of mentoring, the Minds Matter community is a very energetic crowd of young professionals. Everyone in the program is very fun and outgoing, and frequently hangs out after events. It has been one of the best choices I've made so far and would encourage anyone to learn more about the organization.
In my four years as a mentor, I've had to pleasure of helping two amazing high school students. After three years of working with my first mentee, I helped her gain acceptance and a full ride to one of the best public universities in the country, where she just completed her freshman year. I am now helping my second mentee follow the same path to success, and though it has only been a year I've already seen her writing skills improve, her communications grow more professional and refined, and her vision of what she can accomplish through higher education far exceed what she first imagined.
Minds Matter has not only matched me with students who need help, but has provided me with the resources I need to make the most of my time and put the students I work with in a position to succeed. The organization is filled with dedicated volunteers who share my drive to improve the livelihoods of the students we work with, many of whom I have become great friends with since joining.