Meet UChicago Law School’s Neighbors

HPNC’s honoree for outstanding volunteer service 


HPNC’s 2017 Volunteer of The Year Award is going to Neighbors, a student organization at the University of Chicago Law School. Neighbors has provided continuous support to HPNC’s Match-Up! Mentoring program for more than five years. Students from Neighbors serve as one-on-one mentors to at-risk youth, sponsor special activities such as Lawyers in the Classroom, provide homework help and high school application assistance, and join in on group community service and social and recreational activities.


“My mentor … helped me talk more to different people, and participate more…

She helped me set a goal to beat my [standardized test] math & reading scores and to

participate in at least one group activity every week.” 

HPNC Mentee


Youth who are either at risk academically or facing social-emotional challenges typically enter HPNC’s Match-Up! program between 7th and 8th grade and continue through the transition to high school. As mentors, law school students from the Neighbors organization provide essential personal support to assist their mentees to navigate the ups and downs of challenging teen years.


“The Neighbors organization has been the backbone of our mentoring program for years,” says Kendalyn Diroll, HPNC’s Match-Up! Mentoring manager. “They are here for us year after year and have made a deeply positive impact on our kids. We are all so grateful for their support.”


HPNC Executive Director Sarah Diwan says the Match-Up! Program is about gathering a community together to put supports in place for youth who face multiple life challenges. “It truly reflects our mission to provide high-quality programs so that kids Learn, Grow, and Thrive,” she notes.


Perhaps even more important is what the mentees have to say:


“One thing I have learned from my mentor is how to do well on interviews and talk about my problems”

“[My mentor] can help by just being supportive and not letting me give up so easily. I will set goals to not give up and continue to believe in myself.”  

“My mentor has helped me with my Constitution [test] and [to] always work hard.”


From all of us at HPNC, and especially our mentees, thank you, Neighbors! To learn more about this great organization, please visit their website.