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  • 2018

    Funding Opportunity - Kessler Foundation

    Kessler Foundation LogoThe Kessler Foundation is dedicated to improving the quality of life for people with disabilities through discovery, innovation, demonstration, application, and dissemination.

    To that end, the foundation is inviting concept applications from nonprofit organizations for its annual Signature Employment grants program, which supports new pilot initiatives, demonstration projects, or social ventures with the potential to generate new i solutions to high unemployment and underemployment among individuals with disabilities.

    In 2018, the foundation has a special interest in innovative transportation projects that  help people with disabilities (PWD) seek, obtain, or retain employment. The foundation also is interested in innovative projects that improve employment opportunities and provide jobs for PWD that have been formerly incarcerated or have encountered the criminal justice system. However, all submitted  grant concepts  are eligible for funding.

    Grants of up to $500,000 over two years will be awarded for qualified  projects. Signature grants are not intended to fund project expansions or bring proven projects to new communities, and innovation should be the focus of the proposed project

    A 15 percent match of the total request amount is required, with the additional percentage  added to the total project budget.

    All interested candidates must submit an online concept application no later than February 18, 2018. Upon review, select candidates will be invited to submit a full proposal by June 15, 2018.

    Any organization recognized as a tax-exempt under the Internal Revenue Code may apply for funding. This includes nonprofit agencies, public or private schools, and public institutions such as universities and government agencies (state, local, federal) based in the United States or any of its territories.

    See the Kessler Foundation website for complete program guidelines, information about previous grant recipients, and application instructions.

    Link to Complete RFP

  • 2018

    National Mentoring Month 2018

    National Mentoring Month SealJanuary marks National Mentoring Month across the United States! The annual campaign is aimed at expanding quality mentoring opportunities to connect more of our community’s young people with caring adults. Mentors make an impact providing young people with the tools to make responsible choices, attend and engage in school, and reduce or avoid risky behavior like drug use.

    Who do you turn to?

    If you are youth looking for someone to help with decisions and life in general, find a mentor today!

    Do you have what it takes to be a mentor?Mentoring Effect in Real Life Infographic  

    Most of us have had a teacher, supervisor or coach who has been a mentor to us and made a positive difference in our lives. Those people wore many hats, acting as delegators, role models, cheerleaders, policy enforcers, advocates, and friends. Mentors assume these different roles and share some basic qualities:

    • A sincere desire to be involved with a young person;
    • Respect for young people;
    • Active listening skills;
    • Empathy;
    • Ability to see solutions and opportunities; and
    • Flexibility.

    Explore being a mentor or advocate for mentoring by visiting the Mentor Illinois website.

    Spread the word for mentoring!

    Look through the national Campaign Toolkit for ways to promote mentoring. View the National Mentoring Month Kick-off Video and share on Facebook, Twitter, etc.


    Click to see the official Illinois Mentoring Month Proclamation.