Cadets are assigned a mentor from their community who will keep in contact with them during the Resident Phase and become an active part in their success during the following Post Resident Phase. The primary goal of the Mentor Program is to assess and match each cadet with an adult in their community in an effort to develop a sustaining and nurturing relationship. The mentor aids the cadet in maintaining the skills and knowledge gained in the Resident Phase, as well as aiding in the implementation of the cadet's Life Plan.

role of the mentor

The role of the mentor is to serve as a role model, friend and advocate to a cadet. Mentoring involves a one-on-one relationship between a youth and an adult wherein consistent support and guidance are provided.

During the Resident Phase, the mentor maintains contact (telephone and letters) with their cadet in an effort to provide support and guidance through this somewhat difficult time. The mentor is also informed of the cadet's plans upon graduation so that they may be able to better guide and assist them during the Post Resident Phase. The mentor aids cadets in maintaining the basic value and lifestyle changes introduced in the Residential Phase of the program. The goal of the Post Residential Phase is to build on these initial successes and to encourage continued growth and change. The mentor is essential to assist these young adults to maximize their individual potential.

The goal of the Mentor is to aid the youth in attaining, as well as maintaining, the skills and confidence needed to become a responsible young adult. This will culminate in the youth's desire and ability to succeed in educational and employment opportunities.

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how to become a Lincoln's ChalleNGe mentor

The first step is to complete a Mentor Application. If you know a youth that is applying to Lincoln's Challenge, you may include your application with that of the youth's. If you do not know a youth that is applying, you may submit the application, and we will match you with a youth from your area. To become a mentor, you must be:

  • 21 years of age or older
  • A resident of Illinois and citizen of the US, or legal resident
  • Employed, a full time student or retired
  • Reside within 50 miles of the Cadet
  • Same gender as student
  • Unrelated to and/or not living in same household as Cadet
  • Willing to agree to the following:
    - Sign a Mentor Contract and Agreement
    - Agree to a criminal background check
    - Attend Mentor Training

If you meet, and understand these criteria you will begin the formal application process. The application includes three personal reference sheets that must be completed before an interview is given. Once received and the Regional Coordinator in your area completes the initial screening, a formal interview will be set, a background check will be initiated and training will be completed. Once you complete and pass all areas of this process, you will become a Lincoln's ChalleNGe mentor.


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mentor training

Training will be provided to give you program-specific information that is essential to assist the cadet in pursuit of his/her goals. Bestezhop Also, included in the training is valuable information on how youth view the world and suggestions on how to deal with often-difficult situations that may be experienced in the mentoring relationship.

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mentor/cadet relationship

As a LCA mentor, you are expected to maintain contact with your cadet for 14 months. During the Resident Phase, communication is primarily letters and telephone calls. Mentors are encouraged to visit their cadet on Visitation Days and attend a scheduled Mentor/Mentee Match Ceremony. During the Post Residency Phase the mentor maintains contact with their cadet at least four times a month (once a week, of which one meeting must be face to face.) At the end of each month a report must be submitted to the Regional Coordinator indicating what happened at those meetings as well as any problems, changes or progress made by the cadet. Mentors must notify the Regional Coordinator immediately of any changes in addresses, phone numbers or significant problems with their cadet.

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mentor role in stipend disbursement

Mentors are involved in the management of the cadet's graduation stipend. This stipend is to be used for two purposes--employment or education. However, some allowance is given for housing, transportation etc. with the approval of the Nonresident Supervisor. The stipend is disbursed in four equal installments. The role of the mentor in this process is to inform the Regional Coordinator, on a monthly report, of the cadet's activities in regards to school and/or employment.

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mentor acceptance process

If you are interested in becoming a Lincoln's ChalleNGe mentor please refer to the Apply section of this website and complete the application. If you have a specific student in mind, include their name on your application where indicated. If you don't have a specific student in mind, simply indicate that you are willing to be matched with any Cadet.

Be sure to complete the application fully and completely to include the notarized section. Send the completed application to the Regional Coordinator closest to you. Once the application is received all you have to do is participate in an interview, attend training---and you're a MENTOR!!

If you know someone else who is also interested in becoming a Lincoln's ChalleNGe mentor, have them call 1-800-851-2166 to request an application or direct them to this website.


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