Champions Mentoring Program

The Champions Mentoring Program is a nationally recognized mentoring program which has been operating within the greater Bridgeport area since 2003.  It was initially funded in part by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Family and Youth Services Bureau.  However, the program is currently funded through private funders and donations in addition to some grant funding support through the CT Governor’s Prevention Partnership.  Through participation in the CT Juvenile Justice Mentoring Network, services are also expanding into the greater Stamford area.

The Champions Program is committed to enhancing the resiliency of children and youth (ages 6-17) through caring relationships and supportive interactions.  Children served are those who are impacted by the incarceration of a parent or close family member.  In addition, youth who are system involved through Juvenile Probation are also eligible to receive mentoring services. School based and/or community based mentoring is provided where volunteers engage in weekly one-to-one mentoring to provide a supportive relationship which helps to offer these vulnerable children and youth with positive role modeling and assists in facilitating positive youth development.    

Champions is a strengths based program providing case management services and enrichment activities that are geared to enhance and strengthen the assets of each family and the self-esteem of children.    Collaboration with local organizations and service providers help to create a “web of supportive relationships” and wrap around services for these children, youth and their families.

Champions Mentoring partners and collaborates closely with the CT Governor’s Prevention Partnership as well as CT Court Support Services, and is a member of the Juvenile Justice Mentoring Network and the Mentor Institute of Coastal Fairfield County.

Over 2 million children in the U.S are currently experiencing parental incarceration; these children are 6 to 7 times more likely to be incarcerated in their lifetime, Champions is a critical part of the solution.

Are you interested in volunteering as a mentor?  Can you sponsor a child or make a program donation?  Would you like to refer a child or teen?


For more information, please contact:
Tina Banas
Manager of Youth Mentoring Programs


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