Project Description

Violence Prevention & Intervention

A violence prevention comprehensive model based on key components: mentoring, gang intervention, job readiness training, GED classes, court advocacy, social activities and family support.

The New Life Centers team responds to incidences of violence by providing gang mediation and family support to avoid further acts of violence.

Latest Updates

Urban Life Skills Receives Award for Innovation in Mentoring

May 21st, 2018|Comments Off on Urban Life Skills Receives Award for Innovation in Mentoring

On May 18th New Life Centers was recognized by Mentor Illinois with the 2018 Innovation in Mentoring Award. This was given for all the mentoring innovations we have implemented in the Urban Life Skills  Program. [...]

Urban Life Skills Receives National Gold Star Mentoring Recognition Award

February 19th, 2018|Comments Off on Urban Life Skills Receives National Gold Star Mentoring Recognition Award

We were honored to receive the National Gold Star Mentoring Recognition Award for our top quality standards in mentoring. Jorge Roque, our Mentoring Director, was on hand to receive the award. We are very proud [...]

Our Mission: To provide mentoring and advocacy to guide youth toward a new life and a new direction.

We envision Little Village’s youth and families transformed by hope, becoming men and women of character to create a flourishing, unified neighborhood.


Creating a network that supports positive life choices


How does mentoring help youth?

Benny and Jorge - Chicago Tribune Photo - Little Village Mentors

Youth involved in mentorship are…


less likely to use drugs


less likely to use alcohol


less likely to skip a class


less likely to skip a day of school

10 Reasons Why Mentoring Works

What is distinctive about the ULS Mentoring Model?

For our mentors, ULS is not simply a job or a hobby, it is part of the fabric of their identity and lives. ULS mentors are not simply service providers or project managers, but are neighbors and community members with our youth and their families. Thus, our commitment extends beyond any probation contract or single mentoring relationship. When a shooting happens in the neighborhood, the mentors know about it not because a youth calls to tell them, but because it occurs in their own backyard. The ULS model only works when the mentors have a vested interest in the community. This often means that mentors live in the neighborhood, but it may mean they attend church there, grew up there, or have made a commitment to be part of the community. They know the ‘pulse’ of the neighborhood. We believe that being community-based in the single biggest reason ULS has been successful.
Urban Life Skills uses three approaches to mentoring youth throughout their time in the program: one-on-one mentoring, group mentoring, and team mentoring. These approaches to mentoring have been the most effective in decreasing risk factors and increasing protective factors for our youth, and extend beyond the reach of a typical mentoring program.
With ULS Jr Leaders and ULS Juvenile Justice we can address the community needs at the level of both prevention and intervention.
The mentors are the change agents within Urban Life Skills. ULS would not exist if it were not for the solid team of full-time staff and volunteer mentors who have given countless hours of their time to this program. We have a very diverse mentor team with a variety of backgrounds who provide and extensive pool of resources when it comes to guiding and training youth. No amount of networking or programming can replicate the power of a highly-committed, passionate mentor to transform a young person’s life.
A Restorative Justice Hub brings together various members of a community and systems that work with youth (e.g., parents, school, probation, judges) to create connections that otherwise would not exist. The ULS program tries to be the connecting hub for all of these services to operate on behalf of the youth.


Developing a network that supports positive life change


How does ULS mentorship help youth who are caught up in trouble?

Juvenile Justice ULS

From data in 2013-2014, youth involved in our program had a 33% recidivism rate, which is well below the national figures for similar populations.


Of those eligible during the data period, 75% of youth successfully completed probation without reoffending.


In 2015, we engaged over 500 at-risk and gang-affiliated youth, ages 13-24, in reconciliation, peace-making, and community building through sports-based youth development.


From 2013-2015, our mentors worked with 163 youth from our community.

In 25 years of studying efforts to stem youth violence, I know of no more important and comprehensive intervention work to gang members than that of the Urban Life Skills program. This faith-based organization is setting a new standard for how sacred-secular partnerships should work together in addressing and transforming individuals and communities.

– Byron R. Johnson, Distinguished Professor of the Social Sciences, Baylor University

Our programs have received local and national recognition for the impact they are having on our communities.

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