About Us 

What We Do

Our Mission

Mentoring transforms lives: we connect kids to college students through weekly on-campus activities that inspire growth, confidence, and brighter futures.

We have a big goal. At College Mentors, we set out each day to transform the lives of children and college students through mentoring. We pair children one-­on-­one with a mentor and engage them in activities on a university campus where they discover the joy of learning and the power of mentoring.

Learn How College Mentors Makes A Difference


Our families had never thought that their children would go to college. One of the parents cried and said, ‘Now I believe college is a real possibility for my children.” – Partner elementary school principal

We want all parents to feel this way and for all kids to know they can achieve their dreams. But we need you to help us grow, so that there is a College Mentors’ chapter in every state.

A Principal's Perspective

My leadership skills soared to a whole new level this past year in College Mentors for Kids because like my little buddy, I was also reserved and quiet. I quickly realized that I needed to be a role model for her, and I couldn’t encourage her to participate and talk to other people if I wasn’t willing to do the same thing. By the end of the year we both grew in our leadership skills, and we did it together.” – A college student volunteer

A College Student Mentor's Perspective

I thought college was just about having fun. I learned that it’s not all about having fun. It’s about learning and listening. [I’ve learned] when you close your eyes, you miss out on things in life. I want to be a doctor. I need to go to college and work hard to make my dream come true.” – Tyla, age 8

A Little Buddy's Perspective

College Mentors has given Ryland a lot more time on Indiana University’s campus and that in itself is a good thing. Ryland sees IU not as an abstract but as a real place where people do real things.” – Tim

College Mentors’ parent, Tim, grew up in San Diego and says there were many colleges in the area, but he doesn’t remember having exposure to them at a young age. Ryland is seeing early on how college can help him be successful.

A Parent's Perspective

I really think College Mentors is a great opportunity for our students. So many do not think beyond today. It gives students a chance to see how important education is for their future.” – Teacher at Paul Miller School #114 in Indianapolis

Children learn about college through their college student mentor, by visiting academic buildings, and participating in activities with professors and other college students. Once they see what college can offer, they are motivated to work harder to get there.

A Teacher's Perspective

Why We Are Unique

  • All collegiate chapters are college student-run.
  • We combine mentoring with structured activities.
  • Activities take place on campus.
  • Children are exposed to higher education, first-hand, at a young age when habits are still forming.
  • We have a dual impact on children and college student volunteers.
Group of Students
Kristin and Heidi

Founding Story

Over 20 years ago, two college student friends at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana had a dream of inspiring and building brighter futures for children. In 1996 they started pilot programs at Indiana University and Butler University, pairing mentors with 33 local kids. They officially opened their doors as a registered non-profit in 1997. The following summer, College Mentors opened a state-wide headquarters in Indiana. In the next few years, the friends, along with other staff, established four additional chapters, and helped lay the groundwork for two other chapters before their departure in 2000. Today, College Mentors for Kids serves 31 chapters with over 1,500 children across the United States through the volunteer efforts of over 2,000 college students with a national office in Indianapolis, Indiana.

You can help College Mentors continue to grow to mentor more kids in new places across the country.

You can make sure all kids have a Mentor by supporting College Mentors Today!

Girls making letters with their arms