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Give Back: Minds Matter of Chicago

By Amy Mikel in Arts & Entertainment on Mar 31, 2008 8:33PM

mindsmatter.JPGOperating under the belief that a future can start today, Minds Matter is a non-for-profit mentoring program that helps to jump-start the academic aspirations of inner city high school students. Since its 1991 inception in New York City, Minds Matter has branched out to chapters in Boston, Denver, and Portland, and now Minds Matter of Chicago is celebrating its second year with due fanfare, having achieved some major objectives for 2007 – sending all student mentees to summer college programs and exceeding fundraising goals.

Students are accepted into the program through application, and must fit a specified socio-economic profile to qualify. Once accepted, the hard work begins; each student is matched with two mentors, and meetings are held weekly for the duration of the three year program. Training and guidance is provided for the SAT, writing and critical thinking, general academics and the college process.

Another big component of the program is the financial aid that is provided for the students’ college careers. Minds Matter depends on the community for funding, which is received through donations and fundraisers. The Minds Matter Spring Fundraiser is coming up, taking place Friday, April 11 at Bella Lounge. One of the chapter's biggest fundraisers, the benefit will include complementary cocktails and appetizers, and is running a silent auction for items like a hotel stay in London, private shopping parties, rounds of golf, spa packages, and Cubs tickets. Today is the last day tickets are available at the $50 price; starting tomorrow pre-event ticket purchases will be $65, and $80 at the door.

You can volunteer for the mentor program through the website, which also has information about how to make donations to the organization, which is a great alternative for those not able to attend the fundraiser.

1212 N. State Street, April 11, 6-9 p.m., $50-$80

Image via the Minds Matter 2007 annual report