Girls Mentoring Program

Girls Mentoring Program


Mentors and Friends Make A Difference
A friend hears the song in my heart and sings it to me when my memory fails.
Pioneer Girls Leaders’ Handbook

Program History:  The Girls Mentoring Program started in 1992 and was presented at the area elementary, high schools and at the local library.  Since 2006, the program has been conducted at Passages’ facilities.  Philosophy: Passages believes that girls’ programs and services should be a broad array of provisions that focus on promoting positive growth and development as well as responding to their problems.  This approach is based on the premise that critical needs of adolescents for development, support and problem solving should be met as much as possible by their natural activities and affiliations.  These activities are incorporated in our conception of the Girls Mentoring Program.

Program/Services Description

Passages’ Girls Mentoring Program addresses issues related to the lack of role models and friendships in the lives of adolescent girls.  The program is specifically targeted to girls residing in the Southside communities of Douglas, Armour Square, Bronzeville, Englewood, Grand Boulevard, Near South Side and Oakland but is open to any student residing in Chicago.   Many teen programs focus on providing participants with information about sex, contraception and pregnancy prevention.  While our target population is in need of this vital information, there is an equal, if not greater need to understand the emotional upheaval and the short and long-term consequences associated with “risky” behavior. The program provides positive intervention in the form of mentoring, peer support, group activities to build bonding and friendships, a comprehensive educational program, individual and group counseling and a modest financial incentive.  The relationship and educational experiences are designed to help girls with developing a positive self-image, improving behavior and attitude toward adults and peers, learning effective social skills, fulfilling their academic and employment potential and gaining a variety of cultural, educational and personal experiences.  Entrepreneur and financial management components are incorporated into the program’s curriculum to help motivate the girls to become more independent.  Girls also participate and assist with Passages’ Diabetes, Breast and Cervical Cancer, HIV/AIDS and community health fairs, workshops and seminars.

Program Goals and Objectives:  The goal of the Girls Mentoring Program is to help the girls identify their talents and abilities; acquire constructive discipline, develop leadership skills and progress toward realizing their highest potential.

Specified Goals and Objectives

    1)    To improve academic performance
    2)    To increase the girls knowledge of the world of work and their place in it.
    3)    To help the girls prepare themselves for passage into womanhood
    4)    To help girls delay sexual activity

Accomplishments: We have seen improvements in students’ grades, attitude toward peers and authority figures as well as an increase in self-esteem.  Several of our students have acquired part-time employment and a few are in the process of applying for college.Enrollment Criteria: The Girls Mentoring Program is offered year-round, January through December Saturdays (11am-1pm.) with cultural, educational and social field trips scheduled. Enrollment is open to girls 13 through 17 years of age.  We have an average enrollment of 27 to 38 young ladies.
Funding Source: City of Chicago Department of Family and Support Services and Passages Alternative Living Programs, Inc


Program Contacts:   The individuals below can be contacted at 312/225-3800 or by email

      Tracey Evans, Program Director
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            Danielle Bell, Case Manager/Facilitator
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            Darlene McWilson, Outreach Worker
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Passages Alternative Living Programs Inc