Cities Mentor Project


Cities Mentor Project is a research-based mentoring program dedicated to supporting Chicago Public School students. We make a long-term commitment to youth, supporting them from elementary school all the way through their first year in college.

Cities Mentor Project was developed with a grant from the U.S. Department of Education and was originally proposed as a one-year pilot, but we had a very active community advisory board with more than 100 community members with ideas of their own.  The community advisory board was adamant that we not leave when the funding was over.  So, Cities Mentor Project (beyond the research) was born. Although we continue to bring the most rigorous research methods to evaluating and improving Cities Mentor Project, the project has developed a mission and vision of its own.

Mission and Vision

Our mission is to eliminate inequality through education. By connecting high-resourced universities with low-resourced public schools, we aim to educate both university and public school students. Our vision is that every public school student will be able to attend college and that every university student will learn about inequality and their capacity to reduce it.


Primary Community Partners: Chicago Public Schools, Cook Boys and Girls Club, St. Sabina Church, YOUmedia at Thurgood Marshall Library 

Primary University Collaborators: Edith Chen, Emma Adam, and Greg Miller at Northwestern University, Jocelyn Carter at DePaul University, Sophia Duffy at Dominican University, Noni Gaylord-Harden, Julia Pryce, and Grayson Holmbeck at Loyola University, David DuBois and Marc Atkins at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Kate Keenan at the University of Chicago 

Primary External Funders: Institute of Education Sciences, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

 Note: Co-authors who were students at the time of manuscript preparation are indicated with a “+”