TransMentor

Housed within the Lurie Children's Gender & Sex Development Program, TransMentor pairs transgender, gender expansive, and gender questioning youth ages 13-20 with trans and gender expansive adults.

We are dedicated to cultivating the self-acceptance, leadership, and community connections necessary for trans and gender expansive youth to thrive and realize their goals.

TransMentor uses a youth-centric approach that focuses on the needs of mentees, designing the program around their goals and crafting mentor trainings and support to meet their unique needs.

Why mentoring?

Transgender and gender expansive youth often lack adult role models who share their identity. Yet research has shown that such adults with shared identities are especially crucial for trans youth, and can improve the quality of their lives and their relationships. TransMentor strives to bridge that gap and provide youth with the support they need.

Program Eligibility

Mentees

  • Must identify as transgender, non-binary, on the gender spectrum, and/or gender questioning
  • Be between 13-20 years of age
  • Reside in Chicago and/or in the surrounding area

Mentors

  • Must identify as transgender, non-binary, and/or on the gender spectrum
  • Be at least 25 years of age
  • Reside in Chicago and/or in the surrounding area

Time Frame & Commitment/Structure

Mentors and mentees agree to a one-year minimum commitment to the program. During that time, participants are asked to have weekly communication with their matched mentor/mentee (including one face-to-face meeting per month), totaling a commitment of approximately eight hours each month.

Participants are also expected to attend bimonthly mentor-only meetings/trainings and bimonthly social events for mentors and mentees to attend together.

Application

We accept and review applications on a rolling basis, with new mentor/mentee cohorts starting from time to time. We encourage you to apply at any time, and if you have any questions about specific timing, please feel free to reach out using the contact information at the bottom of the page.

Please click here to apply:

Mentor Application

Mentee Application

Once interviews have been completed, selected mentor candidates will be required to complete criminal background and medical history checks with Lurie Children's Hospital.

Mentors and mentees will then have individual training sessions, followed by a mentor-mentee matching event to determine final matches.

Youth Advisory Board

As part of our youth-centric model, we have a Youth Advisory Board that works closely with our Program Coordinator to drive key decisions about the program. Youth interested in a position on the Youth Advisory Board should contact Josephine Kearns directly at jkearns@luriechildrens.org or at 773.796.3014.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the program cost money?
No, there is no cost to either mentors or mentees. Support is available for travel costs if needed.

Do I have to be a patient of Lurie Children's to participate?
No, applicants do not need to be part of our gender program to apply.

What if I don't meet the age criteria?
We encourage you to reach out to us anyway. While we don't expect to make many exceptions to the age guidelines, there are many ways to get involved!

Contact

For more information, contact Program Coordinator Josephine Kearns at jkearns@luriechildrens.org or at 773.796.3014.