On January 26, 2015, the Chicago Sun-Times featured the below article on MEF in its Mentoring Month series.
Group has helped youngsters for a half century
Gabriela Hernandez, an A student at De La Salle High School, wants to attend college.
The 16-year-old junior is trying to reach her goal with help from Midtown Educational Foundation, a non-profit group that has helped at-risk, low-income students for a half a century.
The foundation operates Metro Achievement Center for girls in Greektown and Midtown Center for Boys in Bucktown.
The centers have helped students achieve a 100 percent high school graduation and college acceptance rates for the last 15 years.
The foundation is helping more than 400 students.
“Midtown Educational Foundation provides a great opportunity to give back to a population that can really benefit from your time and your knowledge,” said Jill Fruhwirth, who works as a marketing associate at Grant Thornton downtown and volunteers twice a week at the girls’ center.
Every student in the program receives a personal mentor who helps them develop the skills necessary to complete their homework. They also set goals to help the student build good character.
Parents also are encouraged to participate in the program with their children. Whenever students are at Midtown or Metro, their parents can also attend. There are classes, discussions, conferences on different parenting skills.
Gabriela is currently attending weekly tutoring sessions at the Metro Achievement Center for her classes and preparatory work for the ACT.
Her toughest classes: chemistry and AP history. She said she is getting B’s in the courses but hopes the tutors will help her get A’s to maintain her 4.08 grade-point average.
The program has already given Gabriela a partial scholarship to attend De La Salle on the South Side and helped her receive additional financial assistance to attend the school.
“Whenever I need help, they help out,” said Gabriela of Cicero. “I have had 10 tutors.”
For information on the program, go to midtown-metro.org.
This is one in a series of articles being produced through a partnership between the Chicago Sun-Times and the Illinois Mentoring Partnership. Liz Gaggioli, the author of the story, works for the foundation.