Our Impact

A nationally recognized, award-winning approach aimed at developing the whole person.

  • MEF celebrates 100% High School Graduation Rate and 100% College Enrollment. This is the 15th consecutive MEF Senior Class to achieve this distinction.

  • Of more than 900 MEF alumni surveyed in 2013, 91% are still in college or are college graduates.

  • Listed in the Guide to Effective Compassion, which "recognizes the nation's most compassionate and effective human service initiatives."

  • Executive Director Glenn Wilke appointed to the Board of Directors of the Character Education Partnership in 2011 and the Program Leadership Council of the Illinois Mentoring Partnership in 2012.

  • Listed in the College Board Advocacy and Policy Center's 2012 CollegeKeys Catalogue of Effective Practices.

  • In Fiscal Year 2011, fully seventy-six percent of MEF's annual revenues, including the value of donated volunteer hours, support direct program expenses.

  • In the past 12 years alone, our Parent Program has dedicated nearly 30,000 hours to serving parents and has spent nearly 5,000 hours in direct contact with parents.

  • Named "The Most Exemplary Youth Mentoring Program in the City of Chicago," upon receiving the 2006 Thomas A. Demetrio Award offered through the Lawyer's Lend-A-Hand to Youth Program.

  • MEF granted the State Farm Good Neighbor Award at the Chicago Bulls Game in March 2011.

  • Named by Philanthropy Magazine in 1999 as "one of sixteen cutting-edge programs...doing exceptionally effective work" in the United States.


  • Profiled as a leader in the field of education by the BBC in a program called Earth Report, broadcast internationally in 1998.

  • Chosen by the National Science Foundation as a site for exploring the integration of technology into education.

  • Selected as one of fifty model programs in the country to be featured at the President's Summit on volunteerism in 1997.

  • Volunteer base of 358; Volunteer-to-staff ratio of 21:1.

  • Program fees supply less than six percent of MEF's operating budget, and government grants account for less than one percent. In the end, more than ninety percent of MEF's annual operating revenue is generated from donations from corporations, foundations, and individuals.

  • 98% of MEF survey respondents had graduated from high school, compared to about 44% for their peer group within the Chicago Public School system. Also, 89% of the respondents had chosen to continue their education in colleges, universities, or trade schools, compared to about 20% for their peer group nationally. View complete survey results here.



Donate Now Apply Now How to volunteer Newsletter signup