Pitch In Champions

Our adult “Champions” are mentors who come from all walks of life and professional sectors, and make a meaningful, multi-year commitment to advocate for their Pitch In students. Adult Champions agree to join weekly, two-hour, after-school Pitch In sessions 2-4 times per month with their assigned Pitch In student cohort. Champions engage in small group mentoring within cohorts of 12-15 students through fun activities and lessons led by a Pitch In Program Manager who works full-time at the school site. Champions work side-by-side with Pitch In students to explore who they are and want to be, improve their grades, build their leadership skills, and ultimately successfully transition to high school at the end of their Pitch In experience.

Pitch In Champions are:

  • Engaged, present and invested in supporting the Pitch In students they serve.
  • Open and flexible, able to adjust in response to students needs and interests during the crucial middle school years.
  • Relationship-focused, excited about the idea of getting to know students over multiple years.
  • Youth experienced, comfortable working with middle schoolers of different educational, economic, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds.
  • Able to persevere, possesses a patient and positive mindset throughout their Champion experience.
  • Connectors who advocate for the students in their Pitch In cohort.

We identify new Champions each school year and match them with their Pitch In cohort based on their school site preference and after-school time availability. If you are interested in learning more about Pitch In’s Champion commitment, know someone else who might be, or are a business interested in championing a Pitch In cohort as a group, please contact our Director of Community Engagement, Allison Shackelford at allison@pitchinchicago.org.

Apply to become a Champion

Pitch In Mentor Testimonials

The 4th graders are an amazing bunch of kids who are eager to learn and have some fun at the same time. Being a mentor has allowed me to grow personally and I’m excited to see my 4th graders grow as they progress to their graduation and off to high school.

Antonio A., Mentor

Over the past 2 years I have developed extremely special relationships with my mentees. Not only have I formed many new friendships, but I also have began to appreciate what I have as a result of being a mentor. Pitch In has become one of my homes away from home, as I have grown to feel like everyone involved is one big welcoming family.

Danielle R., Mentor

I am so grateful to have spent my first school year with our amazing 4th grade students. I look forward to continuing to serve as a resource and positive influence in their lives as they move on to apply for high school. The Pitch In program is full of unbelievably bright, energetic and creative kids—paired with caring, fun, hardworking mentors and staff.

Mike B., Mentor

I choose to volunteer with Pitch In because it gives me the opportunity to spend some quality time in a neighborhood that I grew up in as a kid. The Westside of Chicago; a very familiar area and the children at Lawndale makes it feel likes home. To spend just 2-3 afternoons a week with the 4th graders is priceless.

Marcus W., Mentor

Pitch In has become one of my absolute favorite programs to work with. I loved it so much I recruited more employees from my company to join me! Hanging out with our Yates class after work is such a high point of our week because the kids truly enjoy being there- and it’s easy to understand why. The amount of effort and detail put into every aspect of their program proves how much Pitch In truly cares. I’m so grateful for my Pitch In family and look forward to mentoring for years to come!

Allison M., Mentor