CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (January 11, 2016) This January marks both Computers4Kids 15year anniversary as mentoring program, as well as the 15th annual National Mentoring Month.  C4K is participating in this campaign aimed at expanding quality mentoring opportunities to connect more of our community’s young people with caring adults. 

There is a powerful mentoring effect demonstrated by research and the experiences of young people who are connected to a mentor in real life.  Mentoring is linked to improved academic, social, and economic prospects for young people, and that ultimately strengthens communities.  97% of youth mentored at C4K have graduated from high school, and over 90% have gone on to attend college.  

150,000 young people in Virginia are in need of positive developmental relationships with caring adults.  C4K empowers underserved youth by bringing together technology and imagination through supportive mentoring, youth-driven programming, and skill building for life success.  For fifteen years, C4K has offered a safe out-of-school time learning studio where volunteer mentors help underserved youth express themselves through technology while building new skills and sparking new interests for college and career success.  

C4K is marking National Mentoring Month with appreciation activities for our current mentors and by joining the national public awareness campaign to recruit new mentors.  As we focus on engaging more community members in volunteering as mentors, we share a simple message: Mentor IN REAL LIFE (#MentorIRL).  Mentoring relationships are basic human connections that let a young person know that they matter, and having a mentor empowers young people to make smart choices that put them on a path to making good life decisions.  Plus, mentoring is fun!

C4K Executive Director Kala Somerville says, “C4K mentors have the special opportunity to create, invent, and explore technology with their mentees. Our mentors vary in age, background, interests and skills.  Mentors want to make a positive difference in the lives of young people in our community. “

Mentoring at C4K is a great opportunity to serve as a role model to youth while building skills and connecting with like-minded volunteers in our community.  C4K provide mentors with training, support, and access to learning tools.  All mentoring takes place at C4K’s creative learning studio in the Frank Ix Building near downtown Charlottesville.   Community members interested in mentoring can learn more by visiting or calling 434-817-1121.   

National Mentoring Month is led by Mentor: The National Mentoring Partnership and the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, with support from the Highland Street Foundation.  Computers4Kids (C4K) is a nonprofit with a mission to build foundational skills for self-sufficiency and college/career success in underserved middle and high school youth by providing caring out-of-school time one-on-one and group mentoring in a safe and vibrant learning space, access to professional technologies, and a free computer with lifetime support. 

To follow National Mentoring Month awareness campaign updates, watch for the social media hashtag: #MentorIRL throughout the month of January, and for more information about C4K visit: or email or call 434-817-1121.