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What is Mentoring?

Mentoring is a structured, consistent, and purposeful relationship between a young person and a caring adult who provides acceptance, support, encouragement, guidance, and concrete assistant to promote health child/youth development and student success.

Does it Make a Difference?

  • Children feel better about themselves.
  • Mentored youth improve the quality of their relationships with their parents and peers
  • 84% are more likely to attend school compared to non-mentored peers.
  • 53% are more likely to go to college
  • 46% are more likely to refrain from drug use.
  • 27% are more likely to refrain from consuming alcohol.
  • Source: BBBS national report.


Mentors are recruited from all walks of life and across all cultures. The mentor meets with the youth 1 ½ hours per week and is required to commit to a period of at least one year.
Mentors submit to and must pass a full background check (criminal history, driving, child-welfare, and national sex offender registry), and participate in an 8-hours orientation and training before being matched with a mentee.

Mentor Duties:

  1. To listen, clarify, and inspire.
  2. To help find solutions to social problems.
  3. To model appropriate behavior.
  4. To support and encourage good attendance.
  5. To help set academic and personal goals.

“We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give” – Winston Churchill


Lawrence County youth between the ages of 8 and 18 who agree to participate in the program and are referred by their parents, legal guardians, schools, social services, courts, child-welfare, etc.


$1,800 per child per year

Funding Sources

Donations, and fundraising activities.

How Do I Refer a Youth?

Complete a Mentee Referral Form or call us at 618-943-5326.

Why Volunteer?

  • Each mentoring relationship is unique and shaped by the different personalities and interests of the mentor and the youth.
  • Mentors enjoy a feeling of fulfillment as a result of volunteering in the community.
  • Mentors are not substitute parents, nor do they want to be substitute parents. They are meant to give extra support to children so they can reach their full potential.

How can I get involved?

  1. Volunteer just one hour per week.
  2. Recruit colleagues and friends to be mentors.
  3. Make a financial contribution for supplies and activities.


The mentoring program is the cornerstone of CraWaLa. It is the program the organization initially began in 1970 as Lawrence County VIP. A mentoring program specifically for at risk youth involved in the juvenile justice system. The youth were referred to the program by the Probation Officer. The program was written into the Probation Order. This was not a volunteer option for participating youth. The mentee was match in a one-on-one relationship for 12-months with a positive adult role model. The mentee and mentor met 4-hours a week. The mentor was considered a counselor of sorts. In 1971 the program expanded to Crawford and Wabash Counties, hence the name CraWaLa Volunteers in Probation, Inc. The program evolved over the years and in 1998 the program extended to include children involved in the child-welfare system.
In 2004, the organization applied for and was awarded a 5 year grant to expand the mentoring program to include children of incarcerated parents. The program covered 17 Southern Illinois counties. At the end of the program 5 counties initiated and implemented local mentoring programs and the organization opened to include children of prisoners.
In 2010, the organization reorganized the mentoring program and reclaimed the name of the program as the Lawrence County Mentoring Program serving Lawrence County children in need of a mentor (positive adult role model.)